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On intergenerational (im)mobility in Latin America

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  • Christian Daude
  • Virginia Robano

Abstract

This paper studies intergenerational mobility in Latin America and shows that, in addition to the well-documented fact that the Latin American income distribution is highly unequal, profound differences in opportunities persist from one generation to the next. Comparing final educational achievements for 18 Latin American countries, this paper finds that measures of the persistence in educational achievements across generations, such as beta- and partial correlation coefficients, are high. This persistence is correlated with high returns to education, relatively low progressivity in public investments in education, and inequality of opportunity. An index of inequality of opportunity (including dimensions beyond an individual’s control such as race, gender and parental income background) is estimated at around 40 %, which is high by international standards. The paper also explores country differences in intergenerational mobility. While in Costa Rica, circumstances explain below 15 % of the observed variance in education, in Chile, they amount to almost half the explained variance. The findings imply that there is room for targeted redistributive policies that improve intergenerational mobility. Copyright The Author(s) 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Daude & Virginia Robano, 2015. "On intergenerational (im)mobility in Latin America," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-29, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:laecrv:v:24:y:2015:i:1:p:1-29:10.1007/s40503-015-0030-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s40503-015-0030-x
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    Cited by:

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    2. Tharcisio Leone, 2022. "The geography of intergenerational mobility: Evidence of educational persistence and the “Great Gatsby Curve” in Brazil," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 1227-1251, August.
    3. Javier Torres & Fiorella Parra & Jorge Rubio, 2018. "Transmisión educativa intergeneracional en el Perú: un cálculo para las generaciones nacidas entre 1950-1989," Revista Economía, Fondo Editorial - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, vol. 41(81), pages 101-124.
    4. Guido Neidhöfer & Leonardo Gasparini & Matias Ciaschi, "undated". "Intergenerational mobility of economic well-being in Latin America," Working Papers 620, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Guido Neidhöfer, 2019. "Intergenerational mobility and the rise and fall of inequality: Lessons from Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(4), pages 499-520, December.
    6. Ali Compaore & Roukiatou Nikièma & Rasmané Ouédraogo, 2021. "Foreign Aid and Intergenerational Mobility in Africa," Working Papers hal-03381658, HAL.
    7. Leone, Tharcisio, 2021. "The gender gap in intergenerational mobility," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 21(C).
    8. Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal & Pastore, Francesco & Yavuz, Hasan Bilgehan, 2022. "Intergenerational mobility: An assessment for Latin American countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 141-157.
    9. -, 2018. "The Inefficiency of Inequality. Summary / 不平等就是低效率 . 摘要," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 43567 edited by Eclac, November.
    10. Maribel Jiménez & Mónica Jiménez, 2019. "Intergenerational educational mobility in Latin America. An analysis from the equal opportunity approach," Revista Cuadernos de Economia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, FCE, CID, vol. 38(76), pages 289-330, January.
    11. Nora Lustig & Valentina Martinez Pabon & Guido Neidhöfer & Mariano Tommasi, 2020. "Short and Long-Run Distributional Impacts of COVID-19 in Latin America," Working Papers 2013, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    12. Trombetta Martin & Villafañe María Fernanda, 2023. "Movilidad ocupacional intergeneracional en Argentina," Asociación Argentina de Economía Política: Working Papers 4695, Asociación Argentina de Economía Política.
    13. Akim, Al-Mouksit & Ayivodji, Firmin & Kouton, Jeffrey, 2024. "Food security and the COVID-19 employment shock in Nigeria: Any ex-ante mitigating effects of past remittances?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    14. -, 2018. "The Inefficiency of Inequality. Summary / 不平等就是低效率 . 摘要," Documentos de posición del período de sesiones de la Comisión 43567, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    15. Hanol Lee & Jong‐Wha Lee, 2021. "Patterns and determinants of intergenerational educational mobility: Evidence across countries," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 70-90, February.
    16. Mussa, Richard, 2017. "Early-Life Rainfall Shocks and Intergenerational Education Mobility in Malawi," MPRA Paper 75978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Théophile T. Azomahou & Eleni Yitbarek, 2021. "Intergenerational mobility in education: Is Africa different?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 503-523, July.
    18. Jakob, Martina & Combet, Benita, 2020. "Educational aspirations and decision-making in a context of poverty. A test of rational choice models in El Salvador," SocArXiv w9bkq, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; Education; Latin America; Inequality of opportunity; Circumstances; I20; J62;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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