Effects of Future Orientations on Income Attainment and Social Class: An Analysis of Polish Panel Data
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Polish Academy of Sciences
Publication date: 2011-12-14
Polish Sociological Review 2011;176(4):515–532
This paper examines the role of psychological determinants for Poles’ location in the postcommunist social structure, above and beyond the traditional determinants of occupational achievement. Drawing on the theory of planned behavior, I expect that peoples’ outlook on the future—whether in terms of perceived opportunities and threats or a more general view of the times ahead—has a lasting impact on their success, understood here as attaining higher income and/or privileged class membership. I analyze this relation over time, considering that the current status (St) is an additive function of future orientations (Ft−1) and earlier status (St−2). The Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988–2008 represents the backbone for my analyses. In this survey a representative sample of adult Poles was interviewed in 1988 and re-interviewed in 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. I analyze these panel data with lag variables, using OLS estimates and logistic regression for particular time-points. I also use cross-sectional time-series analysis to account for autocorrelation and multicollinearity stemming form the data’s hierarchical structure. Results support the main hypothesis in this study: consistently, thinking confidently about the future has positive effects on earnings and on belonging to the privileged social classes. This impact is substantive and statistically significant when prior income and social class, demographic characteristics, and education are controlled for.
Work on this paper was supported by the Department of Sociology, Ohio State University, and the Institute Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. I wish to thank Craig Jenkins,Randy Hodson, Kazimierz M. Słomczynski and the Polish Sociological Review reviewers for their useful comments.