WIDER Seminar Series

Patricia Funjika on colonial origin, ethnicity and intergenerational mobility in Africa

WIDER Seminar Series

Patricia Funjika will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 4 June 2019. 

Abstract – Colonial origin, ethnicity and intergenerational mobility in Africa

This paper estimates the relationship between difference in skills measured amongst within-country ethnic groups and individual human capital accumulation in eight African countries. Our results show that the skills of an individual in these countries depends more on the human capital levels of the parents ethnic group (ethnic capital) than on parental investment and ethnic capital therefore has an independent but significant impact which may explain perseverance of ethnic based differences in education attainment over time. Birth cohort analysis and results from an interaction effects model shows that ethnic capital has a persistent effect and this effect appears to be higher in former British colonies than former French colonies. Using Protestant Missionary activity during the colonial period as an instrument for ethnic capital, we show large effects of parental ethnicity on an individual’s human capital skill level and show that colonial origin may be an important aspect in understanding intergenerational mobility in African countries.

About the speaker

Patricia Funjika is a PhD Economics student at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. A Zambian national, she is currently employed at the University of Zambia as a Researcher at the Institute of Economic and Social Research.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

Seminars will be live streamed on Facebook and recordings and presentations will be available after the event here.

For more information email richardson@wider.unu.edu

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