Accessibility statement

Dr Daniel McArthur



I am a lecturer in Education and member of the Centre for Research on Education and Social Justice. I joined the department in Spring 2022.

My research falls at the intersection between education, sociology, and political science. I study the relationship between education and economic inequalities, with particular interests in the role of geography in shaping educational inequalities, and the consequences of school reforms for political attitudes. I use primarily quantitative methods, working with a wide range of survey, census, and administrative data.

From Autumn 2022, I will be teaching on undergraduate (BA) and postgraduate (MA) research methods papers.

Before joining York, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. In this role I worked on an ERC funded project - SchoolPol - The Transformation of Post War Education: Causes & Effects. I have a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics (2019), where I wrote my dissertation on how economic advantage shapes stigmatising stereotypes about welfare recipients. Prior to this I completed an MSc in Sociology from LSE, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.



The big questions guiding my research are inspired by the changing nature of economic inequality in rich democracies and the social and political consequences of that inequality: in what ways do policies to expand and reform education either exacerbate or ameliorate economic disparities? How do these changes spill over into politics by shaping public support for redistributive social policies?

I have applied these interests to a range of topics, including investigating the impact of school rankings on patterns of residential segregation, as well as seeking to understand why the highly educated are less likely to hold stigmatising stereotypes about welfare recipients.

Currently, I am working on the following areas:

  • The geography of educational attainment. I am involved in creating an open access database of educational attainment at an unprecedentedly local scale for 19 high income democracies since 1980. This new data will shed light on the institutional causes and political consequences of educational polarisation between different types of place.
  • The relationship between geographic mobility and social mobility. In particular, I am interested in how an advantaged social background shapes people’s patterns of residential mobility behaviour, and their ability to access the most affluent places.
  • Educational institutions and social mobility. I am using newly collected historical data on educational stratification in 20th century Europe to address two issues. 1) The relationship between a wide range of educational stratification policies and patterns of intergenerational mobility. 2) The consequences of formative exposure to stratified educational institutions and unequal outcomes on individuals adult perceptions of fairness and satisfaction with democratic institutions.
  • The consequences of status threat. When people’s social status is threatened, they are often thought to respond by ‘kicking down’ against low-status outgroups, as well as affiliating themselves with high status groups or symbols. I am involved in research that seeks to test this perspective experimentally.

I am always keen to discuss my research with colleagues, potential collaborators, and anyone else who might be interested. If you would like to find out more about any of these areas of research, please get in touch with me at

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD