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Falling From Grace? The Psychological Impact of Downward Intragenerational Mobility
Unformatted Document Text:  23 factory operative—he will necessarily exhibit the narrow-mindedness, idiosyncrasies, and l’esprit de corps of his social status more conspicuously than a man who has passed through several different positions. Therefore, if we want to understand the impact of mobility on individuals, we want to compare them to the nonmobile members of the class, as these individuals are the ones who make up the “core of the class” (De Graaf et al.1995) and bear the characteristics of that class more than anyone else. While this assumption could be problematic in occupational statuses that have relatively few “stayers,” (Sobel 1981:904) the merits of this assumption seemingly far outweigh its costs. The functional form of the diagonal model is shown below: Y i = q μ j + (1-q)μ k + e ij (2) Y i = q μ j + (1-q) μ k + β m MOB1 + β m MOB2 + e ij (3) q + (1-q) = 1 (4) Where μ j is the estimated mean outcome value for stayers in destination occupational category j and μ k is the estimated mean outcome value for stayers in origin occupational category k. 6 (q) and (1-q) are item weights, providing point estimates for how closely mobile individuals resemble stayers in their origin (1-q) versus destination class (q) on the outcome Y. Equation (2) shows the simple diagonal model with no mobility effects, while equation (3) shows the functional form of the diagonal model with mobility effects—in this case, two dummy variables 6 It is important to note that μ j and μ k are estimated means, not sample means. For more discussion see (Sobel 1981:899)

Authors: Houle, Jason.
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23 
factory  operative—he  will  necessarily  exhibit  the  narrow-mindedness, 
idiosyncrasies,  and  l’esprit  de  corps  of  his  social  status  more 
conspicuously  than  a  man  who  has  passed  through  several  different 
positions. 
 
Therefore, if we want to understand the impact of mobility on individuals, we want to compare 
them to the nonmobile members of the class, as these individuals are the ones who make up the 
“core of the class” (De Graaf et al.1995) and bear the characteristics of that class more than 
anyone else. While this assumption could be problematic in occupational statuses that have 
relatively few “stayers,” (Sobel 1981:904) the merits of this assumption seemingly far outweigh 
its costs.  
The functional form of the diagonal model is shown below:    
 
Y
= q μ
j
  +   (1-q)μ
+ e
ij
                             
 
 
 
 
 (2) 
 
 
Y
= q μ
j
   +   (1-q) μ
+ β
m
MOB1  + β
m
MOB2  + e
ij
         
 
             (3) 
 
 
q + (1-q) = 1   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 (4) 
 
 
Where μ
is the estimated mean outcome value for stayers in destination occupational category j 
and μ
is the estimated mean outcome value for stayers in origin occupational category k.
6
 (q) 
and (1-q) are item weights, providing point estimates for how closely mobile individuals 
resemble stayers in their origin (1-q) versus destination class (q) on the outcome Y. Equation (2) 
shows the simple diagonal model with no mobility effects, while equation (3) shows the 
functional form of the diagonal model with mobility effects—in this case, two dummy variables 
                                                 
6
 It is important to note that μ
and μ
are estimated means, not sample means. For more discussion see (Sobel 
1981:899) 


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