Jelena Helemäe and Ellu Saar
Ellu Saar and Jelena Helemäe
This chapter examines the role of resource compensation for educational attainment by analysing the relative importance of the family cultural, educational and economic resources. The authors investigate the relationship and exchangeability between these three resources, asking whether each of the resources has independent or conditional effects on the attainment of higher education. This allows them to establish whether one type of resource compensates for another or whether the resources lead to the accumulation or multiplication of advantages. The analysis is based on the Estonian respondents of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2011. The authors separate three birth cohorts (1950–59, 1960–74, 1975–85) to take into account the changing institutional context. Their main conclusion is that parental resources tend to be mostly accumulative: cultural resources help to transmit educational advantage from one generation to the next. Possibilities for compensation within immediate families are relatively limited (for example, parents can partly compensate for a low or middle level of education by offering their children a favourable cultural environment at home, while parental economic capital has no compensating effect).