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Intergenerational mobility in educational & occupational attainment: a comparative study of social classes in India


  • Majumder, Rajarshi


Discrimination against specific ethnic groups transcends the boundary of current generation and perpetuates across future generations as well. This is manifested as low Intergenerational Mobility in terms of both Education and Occupation in developing countries in general, and among specific ethnic groups within those countries in particular. The present paper examines the extent of intergenerational mobility in both educational and occupational attainments for diverse ethnic groups in India to understand the inertia of discrimination prevalent. Results indicate strong intergenerational stickiness in both educational achievement and occupational distribution among the scheduled castes and tribes who have been discriminated against historically. Occupational mobility is lower than educational mobility indicating that educational progress is not being transformed to occupational improvement and brings up the possibility of discrimination in the labour market. This also brings to fore the fact that historical discrimination and social exclusion have had a long run effect and the inertia is quite strong.

Suggested Citation

  • Majumder, Rajarshi, 2010. "Intergenerational mobility in educational & occupational attainment: a comparative study of social classes in India," MPRA Paper 40939, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40939

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2000. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 550-569.
    2. Sarah Brown & Steven Mcintosh & Karl Taylor, 2011. "Following in Your Parents’ Footsteps? Empirical Analysis of Matched Parent–Offspring Test Scores," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 73(1), pages 40-58, February.
    3. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1992. "Patterns of Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 456-466, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Robert Erikson & John H. Goldthorpe, 2002. "Intergenerational Inequality: A Sociological Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 31-44, Summer.
    8. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2001. "Earnings mobility in the US: a new look at intergenerational inequality," Working Paper Series WP-01-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Checchi, Daniele & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Leonardi, Marco, 2013. "Intergenerational persistence of educational attainment in Italy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 229-232.
    10. Donald O. Parsons, 1975. "Intergenerational Wealth Transfers and the Educational Decisions of Male Youth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(4), pages 603-617.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anirudh Krishna, 2014. "Examining the Structure of Opportunity and Social Mobility in India: Who Becomes an Engineer?," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, January.
    2. Nandi, Tushar Kanti & Kar, Saibal, 2015. "Short-term Migration and Intergenerational Persistence of Industry in Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 9283, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Tarsitano Agostino & Lombardo Rosetta, 2013. "A Coefficient of Correlation Based on Ratios of Ranks and Anti-ranks," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(2), pages 206-224, April.
    4. Sripad Motiram & Ashish Singh, 2012. "How close does the apple fall to the tree? Some evidence on intergenerational occupational mobility from India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-017, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1380-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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


    Intergenerational Mobility; Education; Occupational Choice; Social Disparity; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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