Kunal Sen's Keynote Address at the BIDS Development Conference 2021

Social Mobility in Developing Countries: Pathways for Research and Policy

Kunal Sen gives a keynote address at the Annual Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Conference on Development (ABCD) 2021. The keynote address, on the topic of 'Social Mobility in Developing Countries: Pathways for Research and Policy' presents key takeaways from a forthcoming UNU-WIDER volume on social mobility. It occurs online and in-person, by invitation from BIDS, at 14:00–14:45 (Bangladesh, GMT+6) on 3 December. 


Social mobility is critical to major global goals, those enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals and to the broader goals of development. Yet, little attention has been given to a serious study of social mobility in developing countries to date.

While compelling research on the subject has provided deep insights into measuring and improving levels of upward socio-economic mobility in advanced post-industrial economies, in the developing world both poverty and inequality studies have been a more primary focus. In a new, authoritative, and foundational text, authors from around the world, representing the expertise of several disciplines, have come together to argue the need for a social mobility focused research agenda.

Their new book, Social Mobility in Developing Countries: Concepts, Methods, and Determinants, produced by UNU-WIDER, edited by Vegard Iversen, Anirudh Krishna, and Kunal Sen, and published by Oxford University Press offers students, researchers, and practitioners the tools needed to study social mobility in the Global South.

The forthcoming volume is the result of a UNU-WIDER project on social mobility in the Global South and establishes a clear pathway for a deeper study of the topic even while filling major knowledge gaps.