An uneven distribution of opportunities

de Volkskrant

Those who grow up in a socially disadvantaged neighbourhood often earn considerably less in the future than those who grew up in a better neighbourhood. Together with other influencing factors such as the income of the parents and gender, differences in income for people in their thirties can amount to more than thirty thousand euros a year. This follows from research by Bastian Ravesteijn, Assistant Professor in the department of Applied Economics at Erasmus School of Economics

It is a political issue. Many people have long ceased to believe in the constant progress over generations. More and more people start to believe there is a limit to social progress, and parents no longer always answer affirmatively to the question whether their children will have a better future than they do.

Still plenty of opportunities

Ravesteijn's research, however, nuances that picture. There are still plenty of opportunities to surpass your parents, but these opportunities are unevenly distributed across the country. Children who grow up in underprivileged residential areas will earn considerably less than children from comparable income groups living in better residential areas. It is also striking that the differences are sometimes very local. Two places that are very close to each other can offer very different perspectives for the future.

The isolation of the familiar environment

Of course, the place where you grow up is not all that matters. Origin, gender and religion also play an important role. It is therefore particularly important that people from different income groups continue to meet each other in, for example, schools, community centres or sports clubs. This can already be seen in villages in Noord-Holland and Brabant. In the cities however, segregation is much more of a problem; the isolation of the familiar environment even inhibits the chances of the higher income groups.

More information

The full news item from de Volkskrant, 11 October 2020, can be found here (in Dutch).