Access, Abstract, and Errata to

"Stratification Theory, Socioeconomic Background, and Educational Attainment:

A Formal Analysis"

by Samuel R. Lucas

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Three proposals explicate the social origins/education transitions association. Maximally maintained inequality (MMI) (Raftery and Hout 1993) claims the association declines only at transitions high origin persons universally or nearly universally make. Relative risk aversion (RRA) (Breen and Goldthorpe 1997) suggests broader inequality reduction is possible and depends on changing costs and norms. Effectively maintained inequality (EMI) (Lucas 2001) contends meaningful inequality reduction is elusive because qualitatively different types of education maintain consequential inequality, even at universal transitions. Each proposal has evidentiary support, yet because proposals highlight different association indices, most are described informally, and their distinctiveness is disputed, comparative evaluation requires a prior, clarifying, formal analysis. Formal analysis reveals that MMI is non-falsifiable. RRA and EMI are falsifiable and are potentially but not necessarily complementary. Future research should investigate whether and why RRA, EMI, both, or neither, apply.


There are three errors in the paper (found as of October 16, 2009):

1)Page 463, line 7, the second ≡ needs a slash through it to signify "not equals".

2)Page 472, the vertical scale of Figure 3 goes from 0 to .7 by .1, but it should go from 0 to 7 by 1.

3)Page 491 reads "Examining EMI: tautology? Contradiction? Evaluative feasibility?" The first "t" in "tautology" should be capitalized.