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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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  11. 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.
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  15. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
  16. John A. Maluccio, & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2003. "The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2006.
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  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.
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  25. 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).
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