Professor Erzsébet Bukodi

Erzsébet Bukodi is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, The Oxford Martin School. She joined the Department as Associate Professor in Quantitive Social Policy in January 2012 and was appointed full professor in 2020. Erzsébet previously worked as Research Director of the National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study in the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London. Prior to this, she was a senior research fellow in the Department of Sociology, University of Bamberg, Germany, a Max Weber Post-doctoral Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, and was Head of Section of Social Stratification in the Department of Social Statistics of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, Budapest. 

She has been Principle Investigator of an ESRC research project on the role of education in intergenerational social mobility in the UK. Currently she is Principle Investigator of a University of Oxford Fell Fund project on changing role of social origins in educational attainment in Europe from a historical and comparative perspective and a Nuffield Foundation project on social origins, cognitive ability and educational attainment from a birth cohort and life-course perspective.


Erzsébet's research interests include: educational inequalities, educational policies and institutions, social mobility, different aspects of life-course analysis, labour market inequalities, labour market policies; family dynamics, comparative research, quantitative research methods.

  • ‘Primary’ Factors in Intergenerational Class Mobility in Europe: Results from the Application of a Topological Model

  • Intergenerational educational mobility and smoking: a study of 20 European countries using diagonal reference models

  • Understanding the mobility chances of children from working-class backgrounds in Britain: How important are cognitive ability and locus of control?

  • Intergenerational class mobility among men and women in Europe: Gender differences or gender similarities?

  • ‘Persistence of the social’: The role of cognitive ability in mediating the effects of social origins on educational attainment in Britain – Reply to Gary Marks

  • Social origins, cognitive ability, educational attainment and social class position in Britain: A birth cohort and life-course perspective

  • Intergenerational Class Mobility in Europe: A New Account

  • Cognitive Ability, Lifelong Learning, and Social Mobility in Britain: Do Further Qualifications Provide Second Chances for Bright People from Disadvantaged Backgrounds?

  • 'Falling from grace' and 'rising from rags': Intergenerational educational mobility and depressive symptoms.

  • ‘Persistence of the social’: The role of cognitive ability in mediating the effects of social origins on educational attainment in Britain

  • More

Erzsébet is interested in supervising DPhil students who intend to work on any of the following broad themes: 

  • educational inequalities and educational institutions/policies; 
  • social mobility; 
  • inequalities over the life-course; 
  • family background and life-course outcomes;
  • labour market careers and labour market policies;
  • transition from school to work; 
  • linking macro-processes to individual outcomes. 

Recent completed DPhil projects supervised by Erzsebet include: 

  • ‘The ‘low pay penalty’ associated with part-time employment and its gendered implications’ (Madeline Nightingale);
  • ‘The intergenerational social mobility of children from working-class backgrounds in Germany and Britain’ (Bastian Betthäuser);
  • ‘Measuring poverty in the EU: Investigating and improving empirical validity in deprivation scales of poverty’ (Selçuk Bedük);
  • ‘British far right parties in a social policy context’ (Chauncey Glass);
  • ‘Clientelism, social policy and welfare state development: a case study on Thailand’ (Jaree Pinthong)
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