Michael L. Smith

Michael L. Smith
The Czech Academy of Sciences | AVCR · Economics Institute

Ph.D

About

41
Publications
7,192
Reads
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323
Citations
Introduction
Michael L. Smith currently works at CERGE-EI (joint workplace of the Economics Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences and the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education of Charles University). Michael does research on social stratification and inequality, sociology of education, sociology of politics, and issues of democratic governance. He leads the CERGE-EI team in carrying out the Center of Excellence project Dynamics of Change in Czech Society, which is implementing the four-wave longitudinal Czech Household Panel Study.
Additional affiliations
April 2014 - present
The Czech Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 2000 - December 2007
The New School
Field of study
  • Political Science

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
With a few notable exceptions, sociologists, economists, and public opinion researchers have generally neglected the role of personality in status attainment, well-being, and related research. This is partly because the existing measurement instruments for the well-known Big Five personality traits are far too long for inclusion in the large nation...
Article
Results from international large-scale assessments, such as PISA surveys, suggest that boys do better in math and science, whereas girls do better in reading. How do gender gaps vary across subjects, when estimated simulta- neously? Building on the work of Tsai, Smith, and Hauser (2017), we answer this question by applying a multilevel-MIMIC model...
Article
This study examines the role of cognitive skills on labor market outcomes in 14 developed countries. In contrast to standard Mincer-type regressions, we utilize a structural modeling approach that can take into account different types of skills on different economic outcomes. The results, based on data from the OECD PIAAC project, provide strong ev...
Article
To sort pupils at the end of primary school, some early-tracking systems apply a mechanism that unwittingly divides classes into two groups: students preparing for exams to enter better schools and everyone else, who decide not to compete for selective schools. Utilizing TIMSS data and a follow-up study in the Czech Republic, we show that this envi...
Article
Full-text available
We compare the role of gender, socio-economic background and measured ability on students’ secondary school placement and professional expectations in Taiwan and the Czech Republic, two countries that have experienced substantial reforms in their educational systems in the context of political change and economic development. Using data from the in...
Article
Full-text available
Inglehart’s theory of postmaterialism hinged on the scarcity hypothesis, according to which the spread of postmaterialist values depends on the degree of individuals’ and societies’ existential security, rooted in macro-level economic conditions. But does a country’s level of economic development systematically shape individuals’ existential securi...
Book
Full-text available
Může být atraktivita chápána jako investiční strategie? Zvyšuje krása šance na vzestupnou sociální mobilitu a má větší vliv na úspěch než klíčové kompetence? Autoři publikace odpovídají na řadu otázek, jimž se zatím naše sociologie a ekonomie vyhýbaly, ačkoli světová ekonomie i sociologie roli krásy a atraktivity v úspěchu, práci i životě věnují čí...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines inequality in different dimensions of student academic achievement (math, science, and reading) by family background and school context in three East Asian (Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea) and three Western (United States, Germany, and the Czech Republic) nations. Building on Hauser (2009), we develop a novel multiple-indicato...
Article
Purpose – Consistent with dual-process models of behaviour, Miles (2015) has shown that Schwartz’ basic values can provide a valuable framework for empirically analysing the role of values and cultural contexts in driving human behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to this line of research by distinguishing individual values from ma...
Article
Early-tracking systems naturally divide many classes of 11 years old students into two groups: students preparing for exams to enter better schools and everyone else, who decide not to compete for selective schools. Utilizing TIMSS data and a follow-up study in the Czech Republic, which has an early-tracking system similar to other European states...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a comparative analysis of educational inequality by family background and gender in Taiwan and the Czech Republic, which have both experienced substantial educational expansion in the last half-century under different educational systems. We highlight the specific institutional histories of both countries and examine the role...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines gender gaps in academic performance (grades in mathematics and reading) between boys and girls of ninth-grade elementary schools in the Czech Republic. Our analysis is based on 2003 data from the Programme for International Student Assessment, encompassing the academic performance and family background of ninth-grade pupils. S...
Conference Paper
This article theoretically and empirically links the preference theory of Catherine Hakim (Hakim 2002) to the basic values theory of Shalom Schwartz (Schwartz 1992, 1994) in order to answer the question of the degree in which women's preferences towards employment and careers are supported by their value orientations. We also analyze the extent to...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we analyse initiatives organized by groups outside of formal politics that involve political confrontation with elected officials, and the need for recourse to the courts. We show that a civic initiative submitted by a proposer gives the voter not only the option to constrain the mayor but also the possibility of learning the mayor...
Article
Full-text available
Two decades ago, scholars predicted that the economic and political transformations underway in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe would be accompanied by fundamental shifts in societal values and norms. Unlike political reforms, changes in societal norms were believed to take place gradually, as individuals became increasingly socia...
Article
Full-text available
The article analyses changes in beliefs about distributive justice in the Czech Republic from 1991 to 2009 in an international comparative perspective. Based on previous analyses and published work, the article formulates the hypothesis that the process of crystallisation of the two main ideologies or norms of distributive justice, namely meritocra...
Data
This paper overviews the legislation and politics of local referendums in the Czech Republic. Data is based on fieldwork on all local referendums held in the country from 2000-2008, as well as with interviews with major actors involved in referendum campaigns. The paper shows that referendum legislation, demographic factors, and strategic interacti...
Chapter
Full-text available
All democracies, especially new ones, face the fundamental question of how much and what kinds of citizen participation to allow in politics, such as through local referendums. While too little participation could lead to an apathetic citizenry unable to act against the abuses of government, too much participation by an „interested and overbearing...
Article
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This article examines the development of class voting in the Czech Republic, 1992– 2010. While many Western countries have been experiencing declining or stable associations between class and electoral choice, we hypoth- esize that the trend in class voting should be quite different in the Czech Re- public, and by extension, in other post-communist...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the development of class voting in the Czech Republic, 1992- 2010. While many Western countries have been experiencing declining or stable associations between class and electoral choice, we hypothesize that the trend in class voting should be quite different in the Czech Republic, and by extension, in other post-communist cou...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, social scientists have paid considerable attention to the rise of various innovations in the practice of democracy, particularly tools for improving the inclusiveness and effectiveness of citizen participation in politics. However, fewer studies have sought to empirically assess the degree to which such democratic tools actually br...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the relationship between social justice norms and the perceived legitimacy of the social stratification system in the Czech Republic. Despite the fact that meritocratic values have remained the dominant part of ideology in the Czech Republic throughout the transformation process, those values have played only a very minor role...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares the determinants of political participation, from voting and signing petitions to boycotting, across 23 European countries, posing the question whether and to what degree social inequalities in political participation differ between post-communist and Western countries. The data for the analysis is from the second round of the...
Article
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This article compares the changes in the determination of educational aspirations from the end of the communist period in 1989 to 2003, focusing on a single postcommunist country, the Czech Republic. The Czech case is particularly relevant for comparative research on educational inequality and aspirations, as previous studies have shown that — cont...
Article
Full-text available
The article focuses on the changes in the determination of educational aspirations that took place in the Czech Republic during its social, political and economic transformation. The aim of the article is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the changes in the stratification system after 1989, which were significantly influenced by changes in...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the role of theory-building in social stratification research, a sub-field of sociology whose theoretical development has not kept pace with methodological, statistical, and empirical advancements. In particular, the article proposes a new conceptual framework based on social mechanisms and the multileveled nature of the strat...
Article
Full-text available
The article focuses on the changes in the determination of educational aspirations that took place in the Czech Republic during its social, political and economic transformation. The aim of the article is to contribute to a deeper understanding of the changes in the stratification system after 1989, which were significantly influenced by changes in...
Article
Full-text available
Renowned international experts in higher education fi nancing have argued that, owing to large government defi cits, tertiary education will not be able to open up and meet growing demand unless cost-sharing principles and effi cient student fi nancial aid programmes are introduced. Opponents of cost-sharing in higher education object that introduc...
Article
Full-text available
Education systems play a fundamental role in mitigating or transferring inequalities from one generation to the next. One would presume that the Czech Republic, giv- en its egalitarian tradition and track record of redistributive social transfers, would also have developed an education system that equalises the educational opportuni- ties of differ...
Article
Renowned international experts in higher education financing have argued that, due to large government deficits, it will not be possible to open up tertiary education to growing demand without introducing cost-sharing principles and efficient student financial aid programs. Opponents of cost-sharing in higher education object that introducing tuiti...

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Projects (3)
Project
Articles on social stratification, beyond the examination of educational inequality