Social Mobility and Colonial Legacy in Five African Countries
How fluid are African societies? This paper uses wide-sample nationally representative surveys to set down the first comparative measurement of the extent and features of the social mobility of men in five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Intergenerational as well as intra-generational mobility between the farm and non-farm sectors are examined, and are linked to migration patterns on the one hand, educational development and mobility on the other hand. Two former British colonies, Ghana and Uganda, stand out with the highest level of social fluidity. Two former French Western colonies, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, come next. Last, Madagascar exhibits specifically large and sustained inequalities of opportunity. Comparisons between countries reveal how occupational mobility is linked to spatial and educational mobility. In the former French colonies, these latter forms of mobility are much selective on the origin variables, and appear as pre-requisites for the access to non-agricultural jobs. In the former British colonies, the links between origin, migration, education and occupational achievement appear much looser. Historical evidence suggests that these different structures are the product of policies and investments implemented differently by the two former colonial powers. This article thus presents original evidence on social mobility in Africa and highlights how institutions and policies shape it.
|Date of creation:||2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in DIAL Document de travail, 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.dauphine.fr/en/welcome.html|
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