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Principal Investigator: Professor Franco Sassi 

Funder: The Social Mobility Commission 

Duration: June 2019 - March 2020


This study seeks to investigate the relationship between poor health and social mobility. While this relationship is well established, there is little evidence specifically about the causal impact of poor physical health on social mobility. Therefore, the project will gather new research insights in this area using a range of research methods.

This study will undertake a detailed analysis of two major national longitudinal datasets, a qualitative survey and a computer-based simulation, jointly aimed at addressing the question whether physical health plays a role in determining the social mobility patterns observed in the UK, either as a contributor to downward mobility or as a barrier to upward mobility. Special attention will be paid to understanding the degree to which health is causally linked with social mobility, and on the direction of causality.


Graff H, Webber L, Huerta MC, Olney J, Sassi F. The impact of ill-health on social mobility: A qualitative study. SSM-Qualitative Research in Health. 2022 Dec 1;2:100101.