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Intergenerational Wealth Mobility in Rural Bangladesh

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  • M. Niaz Asadullah

Abstract

Unique residential history data with retrospective information on parental assets are used to study household wealth mobility in 141 villages in rural Bangladesh. Regression estimates of father--son correlations and analyses of intergenerational transition matrices show substantial persistence in wealth even when we correct for measurement errors in parental wealth. We do not find wealth mobility to be higher between periods of a person's life than between generations. We find that the process of household division plays an important role: sons who splinter off from the father's household experience greater (albeit downward) mobility in wealth. Despite significant occupational mobility across generations, its contribution to wealth mobility, net of human capital attainment of individuals, appears insignificant. Low wealth mobility in our data is primarily explained by intergenerational persistence in educational attainment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 48 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 1193-1208

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:9:p:1193-1208

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  1. Swaminathan, Madhura, 1991. "Measuring Mobility in Wealth: Some Estimates from a South Indian Village," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(2), pages 171-83, May.
  2. M Niaz Asadullah, 2005. "Returns to education in Bangladesh," Development and Comp Systems 0511020, EconWPA.
  3. Duncan Thomas & Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith, 2001. "Lost but Not Forgotten: Attrition and Follow-up in the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 556-592.
  4. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2002. "The Correlation of Welath Across Generations," NBER Working Papers 9314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nathan D. Grawe & Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 45-58, Summer.
  6. Fran?s Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3174, The World Bank.
  7. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2003. "Payoffs from Panels in Low-Income Countries: Economic Development and Economic Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 112-117, May.
  8. Menchik, Paul L, 1979. "Inter-generational Transmission of Inequality: An Empirical Study of Wealth Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(184), pages 349-62, November.
  9. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
  10. Corak,Miles (ed.), 2004. "Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827607, April.
  11. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  12. Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 1999. "An Analysis of Social Mobility in a Village Community: The Case of a Philippine Village," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 101-138, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Asadullah, Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being and Relative Poverty in Rural Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 6569, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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