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Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America

Author

Listed:
  • Jere R. Behrman
  • Alejandro Gaviria
  • Miguel Székely

Abstract

High inequality has long been regarded as one of the main problems facing Latin American countries. To understand better the determinants of inequality and to help guide thinking about policy options, it is useful to know whether inequality mainly reflects low intergenerational mobility or whether it is driven by differences in individual characteristics that arise independently of family background. In this paper we use five household surveys with questions about parental socioeconomic characteristics for adults, and a set of 112 standard household surveys to examine the intergenerational transmission of schooling and occupational status in Latin America and the United States. We find that intergenerational mobility is much higher in the United States than in Latin America, that there are sizable differences in mobility within Latin America, and that mobility in Latin America is strongly associated with schooling levels and expenditures on education.

Suggested Citation

  • Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1351, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:1351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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    5. Osterberg, Torun, 2000. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden: What Do Tax-Data Show?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 421-436, December.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; WP-452;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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