ERIC Number: ED106405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Jan
Reference Count: 0
A Review of "Socioeconomic Background and Achievement" by Otis Dudley Duncan, David L. Featherman, and Beverly Duncan. Discussion Papers No. 188-73.
Cain, Glen G.
The book under review deals with models which identify and measure factors determining a man's educational, income, and occupational attainments. The factors include parental background, number of siblings, national origin, race, intelligence, aspirations, motivations, peer group influences, schools, the influence of wife's characteristics, first job, age at first job, migration, fertility, and child spacing. These models and their estimation constitute a body of research that should be interesting and important to a variety of social scientists and highly relevant to the questions of the causes and consequences of poverty. Although the mathematical and statistical techniques used are sometimes complex, even the non-technical reader can learn much from the methodological discussions. Criticisms are presented under four headings: (a) a vagueness of the specific purposes of their analyses; (b) a selection of a mode of presenting their findings which hinders translating them into an understandable language, and thereby impedes useful and practical applications of their results; (c) excessive complexity of the models and sometimes confusing exposition; and (d) a number of dubious rationalizations of the structures of their models and a number of dubious interpretations of some of their empirical results. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.