Typically, the expansion of the participation to a given level of education is associated with an equalization of participation, that is with a decrease of the ascribed inequalities in the opportunity to get the title itself. Relevant inequalities might relate to gender, family background, ethnic origin and so on. This paper asks whether this statement holds for the PhD courses in Italy. The question is relevant, as in Italy participation to this educational level increased by a factor of four between the late 90s and the mid 2000s. The analysis of two different databases of university graduates from this period (Almalaurea 1999- 2005; Istat 1992-2004) shows, however, that neither gender differences nor class differences have significantly changed.
Keywords: PhD, educational inequalities, social stratification, labour market, graduates