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Low Social Mobility in Bolivia: Causes and Consequences for Development

  • Andersen, Lykke Eg

    (IISEC, Universidad Católica Boliviana)

This paper investigates social mobility in Bolivia. It is an issue of high policy relevance as the degree of social mobility can have strong implications for both poverty reducation and long-run growth. Regressions based on household survey data show that social mobility is very low in Bolivia, even by Latin American standards. This is mainly caused by an inadequate public education system, a high degree of assortative mating, and insufficient rural-urban migration. As a consequence, poverty tends to be fairly persistent, with many families remaining poor year after year and generation after generation. In addition, low social mobility implies an inefficient use of innate talent as well as poor incentives for work and study. This prevents the Bolivian economy from reaching its potential growth rates. The paper provides several recommendations for policies that could help increase social mobility, thereby reducing poverty and increasing long-run growth.

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Paper provided by Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana in its series Documentos de trabajo with number 3/2001.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:iisecd:2001_003
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  1. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implicationsfor Growth," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 65, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Hassler, J. & Rodriguez Mora, J.V., 1998. "IQ, Social Mobility and Growth," Papers 635, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:1:p:115-39 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Alejandro Gaviria & Momi Dahan, 1999. "Sibling Correlations and Social Mobility in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4162, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Lakshmi K. Raut, 1996. "Signalling equilibrium, Intergenerational mobility and long-run growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 9603002, EconWPA.
  7. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  8. Jere R. Behrman & Nancy Birdsall & Miguel Székely, 1998. "Intergenerational Schooling Mobility and Macro Conditions and Schooling Policies in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6446, Inter-American Development Bank.
  9. Michael Kremer, 1996. "How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 5566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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