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Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence

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  • Viviane Azevedo
  • Cesar Bouillon

Abstract

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 region’s low levels of social mobility, including social exclusion, low access to higher education, and labor market discrimination.

Suggested Citation

  • Viviane Azevedo & Cesar Bouillon, 2009. "Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence," Research Department Publications 4634, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4634
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Brunori & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Vito Peragine, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality, and Economic Mobility: Some International Comparisons," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Eva Paus (ed.), Getting Development Right, chapter 0, pages 85-115, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Andrés Mideros & Franziska Gassmann, 2021. "Fostering social mobility. The case of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano in Ecuador," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 385-404, October.
    3. Bizoza, Alfred & Jäger, Philipp & Simons, Alexandre, 2018. "Understanding poverty dynamics in Rwanda," Ruhr Economic Papers 753, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Leonardo Bonilla, 2010. "Movilidad intergeneracional en educación en las ciudades," Revista de Economía del Rosario, Universidad del Rosario, November.
    5. Hyungna Oh & Yun Jeong Choi, 2014. "Limited Income Mobility in Korea," Working papers 2014rwp-64, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    6. Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2011. "An ordinal approach to the study of intergenerational opportunities for standard of living: the case of Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(4), pages 579-604, December.
    7. Baker, Andy & Velasco-Guachalla, Vania Ximena, 2018. "Is the Informal Sector Politically Different? (Null) Answers from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 170-182.
    8. Andersen, Lykke E., 2010. "Social Mobility in Bolivia is Finally Improving!," Revista Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Economico, Carrera de Economía de la Universidad Católica Boliviana (UCB) "San Pablo", issue 13, pages 117-136.
    9. Johan Sandberg, 2012. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Social Mobility: The Role of Asymmetric Structures and Segmentation Processes," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(6), pages 1337-1359, November.
    10. Bonilla-Mejía, Leonardo (ed.), 2011. "Dimensión regional de las desigualdades en Colombia," Books, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, number 2011-12, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social mobility; Latin America; Inequality; Social Exclusion; Education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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