Educational mobility - an agent based approach

Available from: 
October 2013
Paper author(s): 
Florian Wendelspiess
Education - Health

This paper develops a model aiming at reproducing the mechanisms generating the high intergenerational correlation in education and therefore the low educational mobility we can observe in many countries, particularly in Latin America. The model considers two main mechanisms: the biological transmission of ability and the economic environment of the children. Besides the core mechanisms several empirical regularities such as an education dependent fertility or assortative mating are taken into account. Considering such empirical evidence in the model is achieved by using agent based modeling techniques. The model is calibrated for the Latin American case - using data from Mexico - and is able to reproduce the observed patterns. Different policy measures such as subsidies to poor families are simulated and their impact on educational mobility is analyzed. The most efficient scheme in terms of cost and benefits appears to be one that features subsidies that are depending on private investment in education and sensitive to the level of poverty of the receiver. The results show that a significant increase in educational mobility can be achieved with subsidies. An important finding is that the threshold of eligible people to receive subsidies strongly affects the efficiency.


Research section: 
Lacea 2013 annual meeting
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