More Educated, Less Mobile? Diverging Trends in Income and Education Mobility in Chile and Peru

  • Anja Gaentzsch University of Bremen
  • Gabriela Zapata Román Román The University of Manchester
Keywords: Intergeneration mobility, income mobility, educational mobility, inequality of opportunity

Abstract

We analyse intergenerational persistence in income and education in Chile

and Peru for birth cohorts from the early 1950s to 1990. Both countries

have seen a structural expansion of education over this period and

decreasing income inequality in recent decades. We impute non-observed

parental income from repeated cross-sections and estimate persistence in

the range of 0.63 to 0.67 in Peru and 0.66 to 0.76 in Chile for household

heads of the birth cohorts 1977–1990. The analysis of educational mobility

covers household heads of birth cohorts from 1953 to 1990 and relies on

retrospective information. We observe an increase in absolute mobility for

younger generations, which we relate to the structural expansion of

education that created room at the top. In relative terms, mobility patterns

remain more stable, and parental education is still a strong predictor for

own educational achievement. The relationship is non-linear in both

countries: persistence among very low and highly educated groups is strong,

while individuals with parents of average education levels are more mobile.

Upward mobility is stronger in Peru than in Chile: the chances to move

from no formal education to higher education across one generation are 46

per cent, the average in Peru, compared to 20 per cent in Chile. The

chances of persisting in the top across generations are also slightly higher in

Peru with a factor of 3 times the average compared to 2.76 in Chile.

Published
2019-07-19
Section
Articles