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Long run economic mobility

Abstract : Economic mobility constitutes a social aspiration in many modern societies however do we really know the actual evolution of social mobility? In other words: 1) how can we measure economic mobility with the data available or with the technology at hand? 2) What are the trends of economic mobility experienced by the current generation? Moreover 3) how mobile is a society relative to previous generations? These questions motivate this dissertation. The complexity of these issues may derive in some sort of paralysis but it is claimed here that it may be possible to learn something about its evolution by restricting analysis to a couple of key dimensions within the economic discipline: income and education. This is the scope followed by this research. The first paper in this dissertation is devoted to deal with the lack of the required data to examine the income dynamics within one generation. It is well known that longitudinal data is often scarce and is seldom available in many countries. This is the case even in well-developed countries! This conundrum has been partially addressed through recent methodological approaches by the so-called synthetic panels. The second part of this dissertation is entirely devoted to applied research. More specifically, the second and third papers describe long run trends of economic mobility in income and education respectively. The former is devoted to intra-generational mobility while the later is devoted to inter-generational mobility. Each of them address the second and third interrogations referred above. In a way this dissertation attempts to improve the addition of the time dimension in the analysis of economic wellbeing. It attempts to produce the effect of a motion picture by the use multiple snapshots. The trends contained herein are far from being perfect and complete but they are based on the use of extensive data and multiple methods covering three decades and the same number of generations in each case. This research expects to expand our knowledge on the empirics of economic mobility as most of the studies refer to few years of intra-generational mobility or to a couple of generations only. Furthermore, most of the empirical evidence available refers to Nordic and highly industrialized countries. Mexico is the canvas of this work but the approaches and principles followed here could be easily mimicked elsewhere. The roads of our lives are constantly moving: rising and falling. In a democratic context, it is useful to know, whether our society provides the chance to get ahead regardless of our origins, or whether this chance is ruled or doomed by them. Empirical evidence is needed to foster these deliberations. This dissertation may well be an invitation to sustain this kind conversation.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 28, 2019 - 3:14:25 PM
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Ahuitzotl Héctor Moreno Moreno. Long run economic mobility. Economics and Finance. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018PA01E004⟩. ⟨tel-01996623⟩



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