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Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty and Inequality: Parental Resources and Schooling Attainment and Children’s Human Capital in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam

Author

Listed:
  • Jere R. Behrman
  • Whitney Schott
  • Subha Mani
  • Benjamin T. Crookston
  • Kirk Dearden
  • Le Thuc Duc
  • Lia C. H. Fernald
  • Aryeh D. Stein

Abstract

Academic and policy literatures on intergenerational transmissions of poverty and inequality suggest that improving schooling attainment and income for parents in poor households will lessen poverty and inequality in their children’s generation through increased human capital accumulated by their children. However, magnitudes of such effects are unknown. We use data on children born in the twenty-first century in four developing countries to simulate how changes in parents’ schooling attainment and consumption would affect poverty and inequality in both the parents’ and their children’s generations. We find that increasing minimum schooling or income substantially reduces poverty and inequality in the parents’ generation but does not carry over to reducing poverty and inequality substantially in the children’s generation. Therefore, while reductions in poverty and inequality in the parents’ generation are desirable in themselves to improve welfare among current adults, they are not likely to have large impacts in reducing poverty and particularly in reducing inequality in human capital in the next generation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jere R. Behrman & Whitney Schott & Subha Mani & Benjamin T. Crookston & Kirk Dearden & Le Thuc Duc & Lia C. H. Fernald & Aryeh D. Stein, 2017. "Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty and Inequality: Parental Resources and Schooling Attainment and Children’s Human Capital in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(4), pages 657-697.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/691971
    DOI: 10.1086/691971
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    Cited by:

    1. Finaret, Amelia B. & Masters, William A., 2020. "Can shorter mothers have taller children? Nutritional mobility, health equity and the intergenerational transmission of relative height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    2. begard Iversen & Anirudh Krishna & Kunal Sen, 2017. "Beyond poverty escapes – social mobility in the Global South: A survey article," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 172017, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    3. Xiaoying Wu & Xinhua Qi & Shan Yang & Chao Ye & Biao Sun, 2019. "Research on the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty in Rural China Based on Sustainable Livelihood Analysis Framework: A Case Study of Six Poverty-Stricken Counties," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(8), pages 1-22, April.
    4. Owasim Akram & Mathilde Maitrot & Thomas Denk, 2020. "Generational Bargain, Transfer of Disadvantages and Extreme Poverty: A Qualitative Enquiry from Bangladesh," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 32(4), pages 1173-1194, September.

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