Why whites and the rich have less need for education


Mangino, William (2010). Why whites and the rich have less need for education. 2010 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


This study shows that privileged people rely less on education to assure the next generation’s status. Because advantaged groups have opportunities that are not accessible to others, a disproportionate number of privileged people turn away from academics thanks to their rich social and cultural capitals. The “aspiring classes” are more reliant on education because they lack such informal opportunities. Using an educational transitions methodology with Add Health and AHAA, the hypothesis is tested in two ways. First, when other attributes associated with educational attainment are controlled—-like the test score gap, family structure, peer influence, and neighborhood effects-—people of color (African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians) are more likely to complete high school and to go to college relative to whites. A second analysis shows that the relationship between family income and education is curvilinear. As income increases through the middle classes, the pursuit of education increases as economic barriers are removed. But among families with the highest annual incomes, whose next generation’s status is undoubtedly assured, there are marked decreases in rates of educational attainment.



Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2010 Add Health Users Conference


Mangino, William

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID