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Comparing Economic Mobility with Heterogeneity Indices: an Application to Education in Peru

  • Gaston Yalonetzky

The long literature on intergenerational transmission of well-being has largerly been driven by concerns for inequality of opportunity and the persistence of low levels of wellbeing among certain social groups.A comparative strand of this literature seeks to compare indicators of these transmission mechanisms, i.e. mobility regimes, across societies, regions or time. In this paper I contribute to this literature by suggesting an additional way of comparing mobility regimes with indices of heterogeneity across distributions based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions, which is helpful to compare discrete-time transition matrices. The indices measure the degree of dissimilarity between two or more transition matrices controlling for population size and the dimensions of the matrix. The indices provide a good alternative to between-group comparisons based on linear parametric models (chiefly OLS) in which either slope coefficients are compared directly or group dummy variables are interacted with parameters from the models. They also provide complementary information to comparisons based on summary indicators of transition matrices. An application to educational mobility in Peru shows that the transition matrices of males and females are more similar among the youngest cohorts of adults.

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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series OPHI Working Papers with number ophiwp033.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp033
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  1. Giorgio Di Pietro & Peter Urwin, 2003. "Intergenerational mobility and occupational status in Italy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(12), pages 793-797.
  2. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
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  8. Maoz, Yishay D & Moav, Omer, 1999. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Process of Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 677-97, October.
  9. 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 249-67, January.
  10. Formby, John P. & Smith, W. James & Zheng, Buhong, 2004. "Mobility measurement, transition matrices and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 181-205, May.
  11. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Is Economic Growth Good for the Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means," Research Department Publications 4269, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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  13. 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.
  14. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
  15. Mark Trede, 1999. "Statistical Inference for Measures of Income Mobility," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 218(3+4), pages 473-490, March.
  16. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
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