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Mendolia, Silvia Dr

Senior Lecturer

  • Centre for Human and Social Capital Research
  • Faculty of Business
  • School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
  • Discipline: Economics

Overview


Dr Silvia Mendolia is a Senior Lecturer in Economics in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

Silvia joined the Faculty of Business in 2012, after having worked at the Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW) and at the University of Aberdeen (Department of Economics and Health Economics Research Unit). 

Silvia's research interests are in empirical health and labour economics, with a strong focus on family well-being, education and mobility. She has published in high quality economics journals, such as Oxford Economic Papers, Health Economics, Economics of Education Review, and Journal of Population Economics. 

Silvia is the recipient of a 2017 Vice-Chancellor Early Career Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning - OCTAL , for the high level of competence and innovation in her learning and teaching practices at UOW.

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Silvia's research has a strong focus on the well-being of children and young people, and on the role of education and health in their lives.

    Her work investigates important topics such as:

    • Economic mobility
    • Education and labour market success
    • Personality traits
    • Health behaviours

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Economic inequality in Australia is far worse than previously thought, according to a report published by UOW economists Associate Professor Peter Siminski and Dr Silvia Mendolia. The New South Wales Department of Education commissioned the study to investigate the role of education in intergenerational mobility – how influential your family circumstances as a child are on your financial outcomes as an adult. </p><p>Professor Siminski and Dr Silvia Mendolia found that Australians are worse off than those who live in Scandinavian countries, as well as Germany, Canada and New Zealand, and only just ahead of the UK and US. </p><p>The results suggest a 10 per cent increase in a father’s earnings is associated with a 3.5 per cent increase in his son’s earnings.</p><p>New Zealand, Canada and Scandinavian countries had very low percentages, meaning their societies were more egalitarian. </p><p>One really interesting finding from recent studies is that across countries, the extent of intergenerational mobility is strongly related to the level of inequality.  The so-called “American Dream” – the idea that anyone can make it, regardless of their background – has been challenged. The U.S. has one of the highest levels of inequality and the lowest levels of mobility.</p><p> Little research had previously been done on the topic, but what was available showed that Australia earned its reputation as the land of the ‘fair go’.  The ideal of egalitarianism – a fair go for all – is part of Australian national identity. In recent decades this ideal has been challenged by evidence that our level of economic inequality is similar to the OECD average. However, not everyone agrees that ‘inequality of outcomes’ is necessarily a bad thing – as it partly reflects differences in effort and ability. But almost everyone agrees in the idea of ‘equality of opportunities’.</p><p> There has not been much previous research on this topic for Australia and our work suggests that the level of intergenerational mobility is considerably lower than previously thought. The study also showed that Australia’s education system contributed to the problem.</p><p> The education system contributed to the problem because of inaccessibility, especially tertiary and early childhood education, and policy-makers should be more concerned about it. Children from more advantaged families tend to stay at school longer, have better school outcomes, and are more likely to progress on to further education than children from more disadvantaged families. As a country invests more wealth in the 'human capital' of children from less advantaged families, those children become more productive.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Business Administration A Health Outcomes Resource Standard (HORSt) for Australian State Public Health Funding Distributions Slater, John

Teaching Overview


  • Subjects taught in 2018 and 2019:

     

    ECON102 - Economics and Society

    ECON317/ECON318 - Economics of Health and Human Resources

    ECON940 - Statistics for Decision Making

Keywords


  • Health Economics, Education Economics

Full Name


  • Dr. Silvia Mendolia

Mailing Address


  • School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, UOW

    Northfields Ave

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Located In Facility


Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Silvia's research has a strong focus on the well-being of children and young people, and on the role of education and health in their lives.

    Her work investigates important topics such as:

    • Economic mobility
    • Education and labour market success
    • Personality traits
    • Health behaviours

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Economic inequality in Australia is far worse than previously thought, according to a report published by UOW economists Associate Professor Peter Siminski and Dr Silvia Mendolia. The New South Wales Department of Education commissioned the study to investigate the role of education in intergenerational mobility – how influential your family circumstances as a child are on your financial outcomes as an adult. </p><p>Professor Siminski and Dr Silvia Mendolia found that Australians are worse off than those who live in Scandinavian countries, as well as Germany, Canada and New Zealand, and only just ahead of the UK and US. </p><p>The results suggest a 10 per cent increase in a father’s earnings is associated with a 3.5 per cent increase in his son’s earnings.</p><p>New Zealand, Canada and Scandinavian countries had very low percentages, meaning their societies were more egalitarian. </p><p>One really interesting finding from recent studies is that across countries, the extent of intergenerational mobility is strongly related to the level of inequality.  The so-called “American Dream” – the idea that anyone can make it, regardless of their background – has been challenged. The U.S. has one of the highest levels of inequality and the lowest levels of mobility.</p><p> Little research had previously been done on the topic, but what was available showed that Australia earned its reputation as the land of the ‘fair go’.  The ideal of egalitarianism – a fair go for all – is part of Australian national identity. In recent decades this ideal has been challenged by evidence that our level of economic inequality is similar to the OECD average. However, not everyone agrees that ‘inequality of outcomes’ is necessarily a bad thing – as it partly reflects differences in effort and ability. But almost everyone agrees in the idea of ‘equality of opportunities’.</p><p> There has not been much previous research on this topic for Australia and our work suggests that the level of intergenerational mobility is considerably lower than previously thought. The study also showed that Australia’s education system contributed to the problem.</p><p> The education system contributed to the problem because of inaccessibility, especially tertiary and early childhood education, and policy-makers should be more concerned about it. Children from more advantaged families tend to stay at school longer, have better school outcomes, and are more likely to progress on to further education than children from more disadvantaged families. As a country invests more wealth in the 'human capital' of children from less advantaged families, those children become more productive.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Business Administration A Health Outcomes Resource Standard (HORSt) for Australian State Public Health Funding Distributions Slater, John

Teaching Overview


  • Subjects taught in 2018 and 2019:

     

    ECON102 - Economics and Society

    ECON317/ECON318 - Economics of Health and Human Resources

    ECON940 - Statistics for Decision Making

Keywords


  • Health Economics, Education Economics

Full Name


  • Dr. Silvia Mendolia

Mailing Address


  • School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, UOW

    Northfields Ave

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Located In Facility


Research Areas

Geographic Focus