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Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence

  • Viviane Azevedo
  • César P. Bouillon

This paper reviews evidence on social mobility in Latin America. Several studies have used data sets that collect intergenerational socio economic information. The data, though limited, suggest that social mobility is low in the region, even when compared with low social mobility developed countries like the United States and United Kingdom, with high levels of immobility at the lower and upper tails of the income distribution. While Latin America has improved education mobility in recent decades, which may have translated into higher mobility for younger cohorts, the region still presents, except for Chile, lower education mobility than in developed countries. The paper also reviews studies on the main determinants of the regions low levels of social mobility, including social exclusion, low access to higher education, and labor market discrimination.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 6773.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6773
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  1. Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2008. "The Human Development Trap in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 775-796, May.
  2. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
  3. Gonzaga, Gustavo & Menezes Filho, Naércio Aquino & Terra, Maria Cristina T., 2005. "Trade Liberalization and the Evolution of Skill Earnings Differentials in Brazil," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 585, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
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  7. Javier Escobal & Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & Máximo Torero, 1999. "Los activos de los pobres en el Perú," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7601, Inter-American Development Bank.
  8. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
  9. M Arellano & Costas Megir & Mary Silles, 1990. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated using Complementary Data Sets," CEP Discussion Papers dp0009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Schady, Norbert, 2006. "Early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3869, The World Bank.
  11. Luis Rubalcava & Graciela Teruel, 2004. "The Role of Maternal Cognitive Ability in Child Health," Research Department Publications 3192, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  12. Quentin Wodon, 2001. "Income mobility and risk during the business cycle: Comparing adjustments in labour markets in two Latin-American countries," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(2), pages 449-461, July.
  13. John Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2006. "The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0614, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  14. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  15. Dahan, Momi & Gaviria, Alejandro, 2001. "Sibling Correlations and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(3), pages 537-54, April.
  16. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1992. "Patterns of Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 456-66, August.
  17. Andersen, Lykke Eg, 2000. "Social Mobility in Latin America," Documentos de trabajo 3/2000, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana.
  18. Corak, Miles, 2006. "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 1993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Binder, Melissa & Woodruff, Christopher, 2002. "Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility in Schooling: The Case of Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(2), pages 249-67, January.
  20. 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 421-36, December.
  21. Grawe, Nathan D., 2003. "Life Cycle Bias in the Estimation of Intergenerational Earnings Persistence," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003207e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  22. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  23. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  24. Fields, Gary S. & Duval Hernández, Robert & Freije-Rodriguez, Samuel & Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura, 2007. "Earnings Mobility in Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela: Testing the Divergence of Earnings and the Symmetry of Mobility Hypotheses," IZA Discussion Papers 3184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Nobuhiko Fuwa, 2007. "Pathways out of rural poverty: a case study in socio-economic mobility in the rural Philippines," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 123-144, January.
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