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Intergenerational Mobility in Africa

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  • Alesina, Alberto F
  • Hohmann, Sebastian
  • Michalopoulos, Stelios
  • Papaioannou, Elias

Abstract

We examine intergenerational mobility (IM) in educational attainment in Africa since independence, using census data from 26 countries. First, we map and characterize the geography of IM. There is substantial variation both across and within countries with differences in literacy of the old generation being the strongest correlate of IM. Inertia is stronger for rural, as compared to urban, households and present for both boys and girls. Second, we explore the correlates of mobility across more than 2,800 regions. Colonial investments in the transportation network and missionary activity are associated with upward mobility. IM is also higher in regions close to the coast and national capitals as well as in rugged areas without malaria. Upward mobility is higher and downward mobility is lower in regions that were more developed at independence, with higher urbanization and employment in services and manufacturing. Third, we identify the effects of regions on educational mobility by exploiting within-family variation from children whose families moved during primary school age. While sorting is sizable, there are considerable regional exposure effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Alesina, Alberto F & Hohmann, Sebastian & Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2019. "Intergenerational Mobility in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 13497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13497
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    4. Remi Jedwab & Felix Meier zu Selhausen & Alexander Moradi, 2018. "The Economics of Missionary Expansion: Evidence from Africa and Implications for Development," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Ananyev, Maxim & Poyker, Michael, 2021. "Christian missions and anti-gay attitudes in Africa," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 359-374.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development; education; inequality; intergenerational mobility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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