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Michael GrätzDocent

Om mig

I am an associate professor (docent) at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University. Currently I am conducting a research project, financed by an Ambizione grant form the Swiss National Science Foundation, at the University of Lausanne. In the past, I worked at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. I received my PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute (EUI) in 2015.

My research aims at understanding the intergenerational transmission of advantage. For this purpose, I conduct both descriptive studies estimating differences in social mobility across countries, over time, and between groups within societies as well as causal studies that identify the effects of institutions on social mobility. A particular emphasis of my work is on socioeconomic differences in the impact of demographic factors, such as parental separation, and differences between siblings on children. Furthermore, my research explores which mechanisms underlie the intergenerational transmission of advantage, in particular the contribution of parenting to this process.

I am teaching a course on causal inference at the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods in August 2022 (registration is still possible):



Child Development, Education, Family Sociology, Social Demography, Social Stratification and Mobility, Quantitative Methods and Research Design






Wiborg, Øyvind N., and Michael Grätz. Parents’ Income and Wealth Matter More for Children with Low than High Academic Performance: Evidence from Comparisons Between and Within Families in Egalitarian Norway. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2022.100692.

Kratz, Fabian, Bettina Pettinger, and Michael Grätz. At Which Age Is Education the Great Equalizer? A Counterfactual Mediation Analysis of the Direct Effects of Social Origin over the Life Course. European Sociological Review, DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcac018.

Grätz, Michael, and Martin Kolk. Sibling Similarity in Income: A Life Course Perspective. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2022.100688.

Baier, Tina, Volker Lang, Michael Grätz, Kieron J. Barclay, Dalton Conley, Christoper T. Dawes, Thomas Laidley, and Torkild H. Lyngstad. Genetic Influences on Educational Achievement in Cross-National Perspective. European Sociological Review, DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcac014.

Grätz, Michael. When Less Conditioning Provides Better Estimates: Overcontrol and Endogenous Selection Biases in Research on Intergenerational Mobility. Quality & Quantity, DOI: 10.1007/s11135-021-01310-8.

Grätz, Michael. Does Increasing the Minimum School Leaving Age Affect the Intergenerational Transmission of Education? Evidence from Four European Countries. European Sociological Review, DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcab065.


Grätz, Michael, Volker Lang, and Martin Diewald. The Effects of Parenting on Early Adolescents’ Noncognitive Skills: Evidence from a Sample of Twins in Germany. Acta Sociologica, DOI: 10.1177/00016993211051958.

Grätz, Michael, Kieron J. Barclay, Torkild H. Lyngstad, Øyvind N. Wiborg, Jani Erola, Aleksi Karhula, Patrick Präg, Thomas Laidley, and Dalton Conley. Sibling Similarity in Education across and within Societies. Demography, 58, 1011–1037. DOI: 10.1215/00703370-9164021.

Grätz, Michael. Does Regime Change Affect Intergenerational Mobility? Evidence from German Reunification. European Sociological Review, 37, 465–481. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcaa061.

Grätz, Michael, and Oliver Lipps. Large Loss in Studying Time during School Closures in Switzerland in 2020. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 71, 100554. DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2020.100554.


Grätz, Michael, and Øyvind N. Wiborg. Reinforcing at the Top or Compensating at the Bottom? Family Background and Academic Performance in Germany, Norway, and the United States. European Sociological Review, 36, 381–394. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcz069.


Grätz, Michael. Competition in the Family: Inequality between Siblings and the Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage. Sociological Science, 5, 246–269. DOI: 10.15195/v5.a.


Grätz, Michael. Does Separation Really Lead Fathers and Mothers to be Less Involved in their Children’s Lives? European Sociological Review, 33, 551–562. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcx058.

Grätz, Michael, and Fabrizio Bernardi. 2017. Parental Responses to Disadvantageous Life Events: The Month of Birth Penalty in England. In Jani Erola and Elina Kilpi-Jakonen (Eds.), Social Inequality across the Generations: The Role of Resource Compensation and Multiplication in Resource Accumulation. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.


Grätz, Michael, and Florencia Torche. 2016. Compensation or Reinforcement? The Stratification of Parental Responses to Children’s Early Ability. Demography, 53, 1883–1904. DOI: 10.1007/s13524-016-0527-1.

Grätz, Michael, and Reinhard Pollak. 2016. Legacies of the Past: Social Origin, Educational Attainment and Labour-Market Outcomes in Germany. In Fabrizio Bernardi and Gabriele Ballarino (Eds.), Education, Occupation and Social Origin: A Comparative Analysis of the Transmission of Socio-Economic Inequalities. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.


Grätz, Michael.  When Growing Up without a Parent Does Not Hurt: Parental Separation and the Compensatory Effect of Social Origin. European Sociological Review, 31, 546–557. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcv057.

Bernardi, Fabrizio, and Michael Grätz. Making Up for an Unlucky Month of Birth in School: Causal Evidence on the Compensatory Advantage of Family Background in England. Sociological Science, 2, 235–251. DOI: 10.15195/v2.a12.


1. The Effects of Female Education on Child Education: A Prospective Analysis. Revise and Resubmit. Working paper available here:

2. Does Schooling Affect Socioeconomic Inequalities in Educational Attainment? Under Review. Working paper available here:

3. Parental Ages and the Intergenerational Transmission of Education: Evidence from the United States, Germany, and Norway (with Øyvind N. Wiborg). Under Review.

4. Network Effects on Education: The Influences of Siblings and Peers over the Life Course (with Mirko Ruks and Martin Diewald). Under Review.

5. The Pattern of Educational Inequality: The Contribution of Family Background on Levels of Education over Time and across Four Countries (with Outi Sirniö, Hannu Lehti, Kieron Barclay, and Jani Erola). Under Review. Working paper available here:

6. The Effect of Parental Separation on Educational Achievement: An Instrumental Variable Analysis (with Juho Härkönen). Under Review.