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Research and Teaching Programme

Social inequalities in education, labor market, family, and wealth are the central research interests of the members of the chair. We pay special attention to the development and change of these inequalities over time as well. In general, we are particularly interested in the interplay of individual actions with social, institutional, and structural conditions.

  • Why do working-class children still have worse chances in the education system? Why do some students work while studying and others do not?
  • Do institutional conditions of the education system influence the transition from education to work? To what extent does the education system structure early employment careers? Are there subject-specific differences in the transition from university to the labor market? Does parental background still influence educational participation in adulthood?
  • What are the employment chances of mothers compared to childless women? How does maternal employment affect the physical and cognitive development of their children?
  • Why is wealth differently distributed between men and women? How do these differences change over the life course (as partners)? And what influence do legal conditions have?

Among others, the following projects are currently based at the chair:

  • The study "Future and career plans before high school graduation" (ZuBAb) is located at the chair. Its goal is to gain a comprehensive impression of the post-school future plans of today's high school students and to gain insights into how the realization of these plans can be supported. The study is a cooperative project between the University of Cologne and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). Further information:


  • The study "Early Prevention of Dropout" (PraeventAbb) aims to investigate the study orientation phase and the study entry of high school students in Cologne, Düsseldorf and surrounding cities. The aim of the study is to gain insights into how the transition from school to university can be made successful through targeted support measures. The study is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

In our research, we work exclusively quantitatively. We draw on large data sets, such as the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), the National Education Panel (NEPS) or other comparable studies, including international ones, and use sophisticated methods of statistical data analysis. In order to assess the effectiveness of large-scale intervention studies, we also conduct our own data collections.

We regularly present our research findings at international conferences and publish them in high-impact journals.

Our courses, at both the bachelor's and master's levels, also focus on social inequalities in all situations of life. In addition, we are a leader in basic statistics education.