Richard Breen - Research

Further information about research projects, publications and teaching.

See Academic Profile page.

The majority of my work has been on social stratification and social mobility.

My edited collection Social Mobility in Europe was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 and my volume, coedited with Walter Müller (Mannheim University) Education and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Europe and the United States will be published by Stanford University Press in 2020.

In recent years I have become interested in the relationship between demography and stratification and have published some articles in this area, including studies of how trends in educational assortative mating might or might not be driving increasing inequality between families and how assortative mating might affect intergenerational mobility.

My other main field of research concerns quantitative methods. Over the past few years, together with Anders Holm and Kristian Karlson, I have published widely on the problems associated with the use and interpretation of non-linear probability models. I am interested in graphical approaches to the identification of causal effects and, indeed, in the whole question of how to identify and estimate causal effects using observational data.

Every year I teach a course Causality: Methods of Causal Inference in the Social Sciences as an option in the MSc and MPhil programmes in the Department of Sociology.


Latest working papers:

Richard Breen and John Ermisch, 'The Distributional Impact of Covid-19: Geographic Variation in Mortality in England', working paper made available 26 June 2020.