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The article reports results from a four-wave international longitudinal study “Paths of a Generation”representative of young adults in Estonia and Latvia. We looked especially at individual and structural factors predicting success and failure in these transitional societies taken together. We conceptualised success and failure as success group (or status group) membership. By doing so we attempted to capture different channels of “winning”(e.g., entrepreneurial activity or taking managerial positions) and “losing”(e.g., unemployment or employment in the primary sector of economy). The new social stratification structure in those societies is in the stage of formation. On the one hand, it is still influenced by the communist legacy; on the other hand, hierarchies typical for Western market economies are taking shape. Male gender, longer education career and belonging to the titular nation are among major predictors of success. Success group membership, especially being an entrepreneur, is also predicted by high self-evaluation and ambitions recorded as the respondents were 17 years old, as well as by early economic activity. The “losers”among young adults are generally less educated; they tend to have more children, live in smaller settlements and belong to the non-titular nation. Failure is predicted mainly by objective personal characteristics and not by subjective self-evaluation or life plans.

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Editor-in-chief: Balázs SZENT-IVÁNYI

Co-Editors:

  • Péter MARTON (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • István KÓNYA (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • László SAJTOS (The University of Auckland)
  • Gábor VIRÁG (University of Toronto)

Associate Editors:

  • Tamás BOKOR (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • Sándor BOZÓKI (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Bronwyn HOWELL (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Hintea CALIN (Babeş-Bolyai University)
  • Christian EWERHART (University of Zürich)
  • Clemens PUPPE (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
  • Zsolt DARVAS (Bruegel)
  • Szabina FODOR (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Sándor GALLAI (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • László GULÁCSI (Óbuda University)
  • Dóra GYŐRFFY (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • György HAJNAL (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Krisztina KOLOS (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Alexandra KÖVES (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Lacina LUBOR (Mendel University in Brno)
  • Péter MEDVEGYEV (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Miroslava RAJČÁNIOVÁ (Slovak University of Agriculture)
  • Ariel MITEV (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Éva PERPÉK (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Petrus H. POTGIETER (University of South Africa)
  • Sergei IZMALKOV (MIT Economics)
  • Anita SZŰCS (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • László TRAUTMANN (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Trenton G. SMITH (University of Otago)
  • György WALTER (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Zoltán CSEDŐ (Corvinus University Budapest)
  • Zoltán LŐRINCZI (Ministry of Human Capacities)

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