Return migration and socioeconomic mobility in MENA
This study examines the effects of cross-border return migration on intertemporal and intergenerational transmission of socio-economic status across six new harmonized surveys from three Arab countries: Egypt (1998, 2006, 2012), Jordan (2010, 2016)...
The individual poverty incidence of growth
The canonical approach to analyse the poverty impact of growth is based on the comparison of poverty before and after growth. Measurement tools endorsing this approach fail to capture the different experiences of poverty dynamic in the population...
Six sets of policy actions to promote social mobility
Promoting social mobility is an essential task of development, and a multi-faceted one. Precarious livelihoods are widespread. Containing downward mobility is an important precondition for sustaining upward mobility. Policies of human capital...
What do we need to know about social mobility in the Global South?
The volume, Social Mobility in Developing Countries: Concepts, Methods and Determinants, brings together leading scholars from several disciplines to advance research practice on social mobility. Three sets of motivations guide this joint effort...
Advancing social mobility research: Where to start
Innovation in academic investigation and policy response is critical to addressing global challenges. That is why the most recent Nobel Prize in...
Grandads, dads, and sons: Examining multigenerational mobility in India
While studies have examined the association in socioeconomic status between parent and offspring, there has been relatively little research on...
Three key insights for research on social mobility in developing countries
The volume, Social Mobility in Developing Countries: Concepts, Methods, and Determinants, brings together leading scholars from a range of social science disciplines working on a variety of issues related to social mobility. Three motivations guide...
The Great Gatsby Curve and the Global South: Time for a more ambitious redistribution and reparations agenda
The famous 1920s book The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is the classic analogy for the American dream of meritocracy —that any person can...
Urban poverty: cities, slums, and the need for policy action
Developing countries will be predominantly urban by 2030. While urbanization is historically associated with development and broad-based social...
Report from the WIDER Development Conference on reducing inequality
For several decades, UNU-WIDER has actively worked on pathfinding and groundbreaking research on inequalities. We host one of the most extensive...
Reducing inequality — the great challenge of our time
Early in October 2022, international and Colombian researchers gathered together for three days at the UNIANDES campus, located at the foot of the...
Foreign aid and intergenerational mobility in Africa
While there is extensive literature examining the growth and development effects of foreign aid, very little attention has been paid to its potential impact on social mobility. Thus, this paper provides the first empirical evidence on the effects of...
Not too long and not too short: Introducing the new UNU-WIDER and Cambridge University Press series in Development Economics
Simon Kuznets’ pipe dream was to have economic inequality data that rarely existed when he was writing. What are the pipe dreams of today’s...
Social mobility among disadvantaged groups in India
In recent decades, India has experienced rapid economic growth alongside radical affirmative action programs enacted since independence. This column...
Changing the lives of very young children: Evidence from Rwanda
Globally, around 250 million children under the age of five do not meet key development milestones, which reduces their ability to reach their full...
Press release - Professor Kunal Sen starts as the director of UNU-WIDER
‘Economic transformation needs to be accompanied by political and social transformations if we are to see drastic increases in human wellbeing’
Social mobility in developing countries — concepts, methods, and determinants
5 September 2019
6 September 2019
UNU-WIDER, Katajanokanlaituri 6 B , Helsinki, Finland
The individual poverty incidence of growth
The canonical approach to analysing the poverty impact of growth is based on the comparison of poverty before and after growth. Measurement tools that endorse this approach fail to capture the different experiences of poverty dynamics in the...
Human capital and social mobility in low- and middle-income countries
Parental human capital and endowments may affect children’s human capital, which in turn may affect children’s earning and occupations and thus affect social mobility. This paper focuses on what we know about these possible links in low- and middle...
Economic approach to intergenerational mobility
This paper provides a critical survey and synthesis of the recent economic literature on intergenerational mobility in developing countries, with a focus on data and methodological challenges. The attenuation due to measurement error is compounded by...
Structural poverty dynamics in urban South Africa
This paper examines the extent and determinants of structural poverty dynamics in South Africa, focusing on the socio-economically disadvantaged urban African population. The quantitative analysis using panel data is triangulated with evidence from a...
Will urbanization raise social mobility in the South, replicating the economic history of the West?
As developing countries rapidly urbanize, the number of people living in ‘slums’—neighbourhoods lacking property rights and basic services—continues to increase. Whether slum residents will ultimately share in the benefits of the cities they help...
Concepts of social mobility
This paper has two purposes. The first is to define clearly different social mobility concepts and components. The second is to embed these concepts and components into a larger context of social mobility research. The core of the paper develops six...