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Research on intergenerational social mobility and health-related behaviours yields mixed findings. Depending on the direction of mobility and the type of mechanisms involved, we can expect positive or negative association between intergenerational mobility and health-related behaviours. Using data from a retrospective cohort study, conducted in more than 100 towns across Belarus, Hungary and Russia, we fit multilevel mixed-effects Poisson regressions with two measures of health-related behaviours: binge drinking and smoking. The main explanatory variable, intergenerational educational mobility is operationalised in terms of relative intergenerational educational trajectories based on the prevalence of specified qualifications in parental and offspring generations. In each country the associations between intergenerational educational mobility, binge drinking and smoking was examined with incidence rate ratios and predicted probabilities, using multiply imputed dataset for missing data and controlling for important confounders of health-related behaviours. We find that intergenerational mobility in relative educational attainment has varying association with binge drinking and smoking and the strength and direction of these effects depend on the country of analysis, the mode of mobility, the gender of respondents and the type of health-related behaviour. Along with accumulation and Falling from Grace hypotheses of the consequences of intergenerational mobility, our findings suggest that upward educational mobility in certain instances might be linked to improved health-related behaviours.

Original publication




Journal article


Soc Indic Res

Publication Date





413 - 441


Binge drinking, Demographic cohort study, Education, Relative intergenerational mobility, Smoking