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Decline in Social Mobility: Unfulfilled Aspirations among Egypt's Educated Youth


  • Binzel, Christine

    () (Heidelberg University)


This paper studies how the gradual suspension of an employment guarantee scheme for secondary and post-secondary graduates has affected intergenerational mobility across well-educated cohorts in Egypt. The empirical results support suggestive evidence in the Middle East of a decline in social mobility among the increasingly well-educated youth. The results further indicate that unequal opportunities are due to difficulties in attaining high-level occupations in the formal private sector for graduates from a lower socio-economic background, and that personal connections may play a decisive role. Thus, aside from credit market imperfections, labor market constraints may be important in explaining low social mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Binzel, Christine, 2011. "Decline in Social Mobility: Unfulfilled Aspirations among Egypt's Educated Youth," IZA Discussion Papers 6139, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6139

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicoletti Cheti & Ermisch John F, 2008. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Changes across Cohorts in Britain," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-38, January.
    2. 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 249-267, January.
    3. Campante, Filipe R. & Chor, Davin, 2014. "“The people want the fall of the regime”: Schooling, political protest, and the economy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-517.
    4. Jean-Paul Carvalho, 2009. "A Theory of the Islamic Revival," Economics Series Working Papers 424, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti, 2000. "Intergenerational mobility of socio-economic status in comparative perspective," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 3-32.
    6. Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 1-44, August.
    7. Megan Louw & Servaas van der Berg & Derek Yu, 2006. "Educational attainment and intergenerational social mobility in South Africa," Working Papers 09/2006, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Jorge N. Valero-Gil & Jose A. Tijerina-Guajardo, 2002. "Effects of Education on the Intergenerational Transmission of Labor Income in Mexico," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 381-392, Summer.
    9. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    10. repec:wsi:medjxx:v:01:y:2009:i:02:n:s1793812009000085 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-486, June.
    12. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani & Insan Tunali & Ragui Assaad, 2009. "A Comparative Study Of Returns To Education Of Urban Men In Egypt, Iran, And Turkey," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 145-187.
    13. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caroline Krafft & Ragui Assaad, 2015. "Inequality of Opportunity in the Labor Market for Higher Education Graduates in Egypt and Jordan," Working Papers 932, Economic Research Forum, revised Aug 2015.
    2. Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda, 2013. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 9(1–2), pages 1-157, December.
      • Biavaschi, Costanza & Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Kendzia, Michael J. & Muravyev, Alexander & Pieters, Janneke & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Schmidl, Ricarda & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Youth Unemployment and Vocational Training," IZA Discussion Papers 6890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. driouchi, ahmed & Gamar, Alae, 2015. "Is there a Gatsby Curve for Educational Attainment in Arab Countries?," MPRA Paper 63869, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Apr 2015.
    4. Lire Ersado & Jérémie Gignoux, 2014. "Inequality of Educational Opportunities in Egypt," PSE Working Papers halshs-01064510, HAL.
    5. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:494-514 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Assaad, Ragui & Krafft, Caroline, 2017. "Excluded Generation: The Growing Challenges of Labor Market Insertion for Egyptian Youth," IZA Discussion Papers 10970, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Driouchi, Ahmed & Harkat, Tahar, 2017. "An Empirical Descriptive Analysis of the Factors underlying the Role of Younger Generations in Economic, Social & Political Changes in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 77216, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Reham Rizk, 2016. "Returns to Education: An Updated Comparison from Arab Countries," Working Papers 986, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 2016.
    9. Ersado, Lire & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2014. "Egypt : inequality of opportunity in education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6996, The World Bank.
    10. Abdel-Rahman, Alaa & Fuller, David, 2014. "Education and employment in Egypt: the policies, discrepancies and possible solutions," MPRA Paper 67571, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft & John Roemer & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2016. "Inequality of Opportunity in Income and Consumption in Egypt," Working Papers 1002, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2016.
    12. Driouchi, Ahmed & Gamar, Alae, 2016. "The Gap between Educational & Social Intergenerational Mobility in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 73998, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    intergenerational mobility; Islamic revival; schooling; labor market;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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