Trends of Educational Mobility Across Three Generations in Latin America

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May 2022
Paper author(s): 
Pablo A. Celhay
Sebastian Gallegos
Education - Health

This paper provides new evidence on long term intergenerational mobility in developing countries. We gather data linking schooling outcomes across three generations for six Latin American countries. Our work complements recent evidence going beyond two generations in more mobile, developed nations. Our main findings indicate that (i) the empirical multi-generational persistence is higher than what seminal theoretical models predict, with a much larger upward bias for Latin America than for developed countries; (ii) absolute mobility has increased but relative mobility remains constant over fifty years, and (iii) compulsory schooling laws plausibly contribute to explaining these mobility patterns, because they increased education levels but also reduced the dispersion of schooling. Overall, this paper contributes to our understanding of long run intergenerational mobility with novel evidence for the highly immobile Latin American region, where family background effects tend to be comparatively longer-lasting.


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