Tuesday 19 March 2019, 14:15 - 15:45

Intergenerational Mobility in India: Estimates from New Methods and Administrative Data

Sam Asher, economist at the World Bank

Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar

As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to the public talk Intergenerational Mobility in India:Estimates from New Methods and Administrative Data (joint work with Paul Novosad and Charlie Rafkin) given by Sam Asher, economist at the World Bank.

Samuel Asher is an Economist in the Environment and Energy team of the World Bank's Development Research Group. He is also an associate of the Center for International Development (Harvard University) and an affiliate at the Centre for Policy Research (New Delhi). After receiving a PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 2013, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Economics Department at Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Estimating intergenerational mobility in developing countries is difficult because matched parent-child income records are rarely available and education is measured very coarsely. In particular, there are no established methods for comparing educational mobility for subsamples of the population when the education distribution is changing over time. We resolve these problems using new methods in partial identification and new administrative data, and study intergenerational mobility across groups and across space in India. Intergenerational mobility for the population as a whole has remained constant since liberalization, but cross-group changes have been substantial. Rising mobility among historically marginalized Scheduled Castes is almost exactly offset by declining intergenerational mobility among Muslims, a comparably sized group that has few constitutional protections. These findings contest the conventional wisdom that marginalized groups in India have been catching up on average. We also explore heterogeneity across space, generating the first high-resolution geographic measures of inter-generational mobility across India, with results across 5600 rural subdistricts and 2300cities and towns. On average, children are most successful at exiting the bottom of the distribution in places that are southern, urban, or have higher average education levels.

Venue: S4, Petal 2 (Maison de la Paix)

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is our Departmental weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics. The organizer for this academic year is Prof. Julia Cajal-Grossi (