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Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations around the World

Thursday November 28, 2019, from 11:00 to 13:00
Room 40.241 (Second Floor). Roger de Llúria Building.

Roy van der Weide (World Bank)

If you are born into a low-income family, what are the chances that you will reach the higher rungs of the socio-economic ladder? We will present global trends and patterns in economic mobility from anew Global Database on Intergenerational Mobility (GDIM). The GDIM provides unprecedented coverage: This is the first time we have empirical evidence on mobility for almost 150 countries representative of 96 percent of the world’s population. Estimates of two distinct aspects of economic mobility are included: absolute (the share of individuals who succeed in securing a standard of living or educational attainment that exceed those of their parents), and relative (the extent to which a person’s position in the economic scale is independent from his or her parents’ position). The data suggest that mobility and development go hand in hand. Both absolute and relative mobility are lower in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. 46 out of 50 countries with the lowest rate of mobility from the bottom to the top of the education ladder are in the developing world. Progress towards more economic mobility is slow. Improvements in mobility in the developing world have stalled since the 1960s.

Seminar organised within the IBEI Research Cluster Institutions, Inequality and Development

Roy van der Weide is a Senior Economist in the Poverty and Inequality team within the Development Research Group of the World Bank. He recently assumed the responsibility of leading the poverty and inequality mapping research within the department. His other research is concerned with the empirics of inequality of opportunity and poverty reduction, axiomatic approaches to income measurement, and the use of prediction methods to reduce data collection costs. His work has been published in a range of academic journals including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Applied Econometrics, and the World Bank Economic Review. He holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam.