Presentation of OECD reports on social mobility and on the middle classes

TÁRKI, as a frequent contributor and partner to various OECD reports, organized a presentation of two recent reports of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for selected international and Hungarian press.  The two reports deal with major challenges of contemporary democracies in advanced economies of the world: in the lack of social mobility and the squeeze of the middle classes. The combined presentation of the two reports provided an excellent opportunity to discuss reasons, trends and potential policy options for building more efficient economies AND more inclusive societies at the same time. The two reports, 1. A Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility, 2. Under Pressure: The Squeezed Middle Class are:


OECD (2018), A Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility, OECD Publishing, Paris

This report provides new evidence on social mobility in the context of increased inequalities of income and opportunities in OECD and selected emerging economies. It covers the aspects of both social mobility between parents and children and of personal income mobility over the life course, and their drivers. The lack of social mobility has economic, societal and political consequences. This report shows that there is space for policies to make societies more mobile and protect households from adverse income shocks. The report, press material, and a selection of tables can be found here.


OECD (2019), Under Pressure: The Squeezed Middle Class, OECD Publishing, Paris

Middle-class households feel left behind and have questioned the benefits of economic globalisation. This report sheds light on the multiple pressures they face and it analyses the trends of middle-income households through dimensions such as labour occupation, consumption, as well as perceptions and social attitudes. It also discusses policy initiatives to address the concerns raised by the middle class, by protecting middle-class living standards and financial security in the face of economic challenges. The report, press material, and a selection of tables can be found here

When - 22 October 2019

Time - 14:00 to 15:15 (registration starts at 13:45)

Where - Magvető Café (Budapest, VII. Dohány utca 13.)


14:00 to 14:05:   Welcome   Péter Szivós (Managing Director, TÁRKI Social Research Institute)

14:05 to 14:35:  Michael Förster (Senior Policy Analyst, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate, OECD): The lack of social mobility and the pressures on middle classes in OECD countries

The presentation covered the main findings and lessons from the series of OECD reports on inequality changes. The OECD, being in the forefront of documenting the rise of inequality, has now focused on identifying and analyzing the multidimensional nature of this phenomenon. The two recent reports endeavor to explain the causes, trends and policy impacts of trends behind low social mobility and an increasingly squeezing middle class.

14:35 to 14:50:   István György Tóth (Director, TARKI Social Research Institute): Lessons for Hungary

The presentation covered the Hungary-relevant lessons of the two reports. Hungary, despite its relatively low inequality figures, shows consistently low level of social mobility in recent decades. The fact that the Hungarian middle class is weak and narrow might be one of the reasons behind both of these trends. The presentation collected the major lessons – both for analysts and policy makers.

14:50 to 15:15:   Questions/Answers

Media releases:

Adósságok és méregdrága lakások közt fulladoznak a fejlett világ középosztályai, Illés Szurovecz, 22/10/2019

Szegényedik a középosztály, egyre kevesebben élnek anyagi biztonságban, Mátyás Domschitz , 05/11/2019

Kasztosodik a magyar társadalom, és ennek mind megisszuk a levét, Bence Stubnya, 03/11/2019

Társadalmi mobilitás és a középosztály helyzete
Radio Patria, Interview with István György Tóth, 25/10/2019

Több mint a fele sebezhető a magyar középosztálynak
ATV, Interview with István György Tóth, 29/10/2019