In most of present-day Europe, people spend about a quarter of their life in education and training. About a quarter of the present population of Europe are currently pupils or students, and the various groups of education and teaching professionals are the single largest professional group in the European labour force. The time spent and the attainment achieved in education and training is among the most influential determinants of the opportunities and living conditions later in life. Indeed, the more time is spent in education and training, the longer and more prosperous and advantageous life tends to be. Education plays a crucial role in shaping labour market outcomes, social stratification and mobility, the social disparities in life chances and the reproduction of such inequalities from generation to generation. Formation of human capital is not only individually a profitable investment but also considered essential in the international competition of economies. Education also affects many social, cultural and political domains such as value and attitude formation, political interest and political and social participation.


Labour Market Secondary Education Vocational Education Tertiary Education Labour Market Outcome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge helpful comments to an earlier version of the paper by Richard Breen, Robert Erikson, Karl-Ulrich Mayer, Ulrich Teichler and the Editors of the volume.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mannheim Center for European Social Research, University of MannheimMannheimGermany

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