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Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in India


  • Azam, Mehtabul

    () (Oklahoma State University)


In this paper, we examine the intergenerational occupational mobility in India among men born during 1945-85. Following Long and Ferrie (2013, American Economic Review), we not only distinguish between prevalence and association, but also use the Altham Statistics – which involves comparison of all possible odds ratios, for example, the odds that the son of a white collar father would get a white collar job compared with the odds that the son of a low-skilled father would get a white collar job – as measure of distance between son-father occupation associations across cohorts. We extend the analysis to the differences in mobility across social groups, and attempt to isolate the specific odds ratios that account for the largest part of the difference. We find no evidence of difference in mobility in successive ten year birth cohorts; however, looking at the longer time period (birth cohort 1945-54 vs. 1975-84), we find that the mobility in the 1975-84 birth cohort is higher than the mobility in the 1945-54 birth cohort. Although the mobility among Scheduled Castes/Tribes (SC/STs) in the 1945-64 birth cohort was not different than the mobility observed in the entire 1945-64 birth cohort, SC/STs born during 1965-84 experienced a higher mobility when compared with the entire 1965-84 birth cohort. Similarly, when compared with the higher castes, SC/STs experienced lower mobility in the 1945-64 birth cohort; however, the mobility among SC/STs has been higher than the mobility among higher castes in the 1965-84 birth cohort.

Suggested Citation

  • Azam, Mehtabul, 2013. "Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7608, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7608

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Motiram, Sripad & Singh, Ashish, 2012. "How Close Does the Apple Fall to the Tree? Some Evidence on Intergenerational Occupational Mobility from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 101, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Viktoria Hnatkovska & Amartya Lahiri & Sourabh B. Paul, 2013. "Breaking the Caste Barrier: Intergenerational Mobility in India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(2), pages 435-473.
    3. 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.
    4. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Joseph P. Ferrie, 2005. "History Lessons: The End of American Exceptionalism? Mobility in the United States Since 1850," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 199-215, Summer.
    6. Mehtabul Azam & Vipul Bhatt, 2015. "Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Educational Mobility in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1929-1959, December.
    7. Judith K. Hellerstein & Melinda Sandler Morrill, 2011. "Dads and Daughters: The Changing Impact of Fathers on Women’s Occupational Choices," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 333-372.
    8. BOURDIEU Jérôme & FERRIE Joseph & KESZTENBAUM Lionel, 2007. "Vive la différence? Intergenerational Mobility in France and the U.S. in the 19th and 20th Centuries," Research Unit Working Papers 0713, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
    9. Desai, Sonalde & Dubey, Amaresh & Joshi, Brij Lal & Sen, Mitali & Sharif, Abusaleh & Vanneman, Reeve, 2010. "Human Development in India: Challenges for a Society in Transition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198065128.
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    Cited by:

    1. Modalsli, Jørgen, 2015. "Estimating occupational mobility with covariates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 77-80.
    2. Albornoz-Crespo, Facundo & Cabrales, Antonio & Hauk, Esther, 2014. "Which club should I attend, Dad?: Targeted socialization and production," CEPR Discussion Papers 10321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Reddy, A. Bheemeshwar, 2015. "Changes in Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in India: Evidence from National Sample Surveys, 1983–2012," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 329-343.

    More about this item


    caste; occupation; intergenerational mobility; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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