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EQUALLIVES: Inequality, early adult life courses and economic outcomes at mid-life in comparative context

This innovative project adopts a holistic approach to understanding the dynamics of inequality across the life-course. We analyze how education, labor market and family choices interact to structure accumulated advantage and disadvantage over the life course. Using panel data from five EU countries for over 20 years and cutting-edge statistical methods, including multichannel sequence analysis, we take a comparative approach to exploring how cross-country economic and institutional differences affect inequality outcomes and life courses.

Early adulthood is a crucial period of transition where people face multiple choices – about education, jobs, partnerships and childbearing – determining future life. We focus on key turning points, examine their interrelation and explore the cumulative impact on individual and group inequalities. Focusing on transitions during early adulthood, into education, jobs and family formation, we address the following project call themes: “Labor market and family trajectories and the growth of inequality,” “Early adult transitions into tertiary education, vocational training and economic activity” and “Early life influence and outcomes.”

The research team of the PI, four CIs, postdoctoral fellows and PGR students will meet regularly and provides appropriate leadership, skills, and capacity building.

Academic impact will be achieved by going beyond the state-of-the-art, the research producing new empirical findings and contributing to theory building. Potential for policy impact is high. We will establish early contact with key national and EU stakeholders and engage through meetings, the media, research briefings and social media.

Research team

Prof. S. Harkness
University of Essex

Prof. J.P. Erola
University of Turku

Prof. A.E. Fasang
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dr T. Leopold
University of Amsterdam

Prof. M.M. Jaeger
University of Copenhagen