Intergenerational Mobility in Africa

94 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2019

See all articles by Alberto F. Alesina

Alberto F. Alesina

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sebastian Hohmann

Stockholm School of Economics

Stelios Michalopoulos

Brown University - Department of Economics; Brown University

Elias Papaioannou

London Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

We examine intergenerational mobility (IM) in educational attainment in Africa since independence, using census data from 26 countries. First, we map and characterize the geography of IM. There is substantial variation both across and within countries with differences in literacy of the old generation being the strongest correlate of IM. Inertia is stronger for rural, as compared to urban, households and present for both boys and girls. Second, we explore the correlates of mobility across more than 2,800 regions. Colonial investments in the transportation network and missionary activity are associated with upward mobility. IM is also higher in regions close to the coast and national capitals as well as in rugged areas without malaria. Upward mobility is higher and downward mobility is lower in regions that were more developed at independence, with higher urbanization and employment in services and manufacturing. Third, we identify the effects of regions on educational mobility by exploiting within-family variation from children whose families moved during primary school age. While sorting is sizable, there are considerable regional exposure effects.

Keywords: Development, education, inequality, intergenerational mobility

Suggested Citation

Alesina, Alberto F. and Hohmann, Sebastian and Michalopoulos, Stelios and Papaioannou, Elias, Intergenerational Mobility in Africa (January 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13497. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3328508

Alberto F. Alesina (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8388 (Phone)
617-495-7730 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Sebastian Hohmann

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

Stelios Michalopoulos

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/steliosecon/

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Elias Papaioannou

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

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