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Inter-generational mobility in slums: Evidence from field surveys in Jakarta

Working paper #812
Maisy Wong

Slums are central to the global debate on inequality, serving as entry points for people moving to cities in search of economic opportunity. Yet, we know little about the extent of intergenerational mobility in slums due to a lack of data tracking families across generations (including family members who do not live together) as well as a lack of coverage of slums. This paper addresses these empirical challenges using field surveys of four slums in Jakarta, tracking educational mobility spanning three generations (grandparents, parents, and children). Amongst the grandparents who have less than primary education, only 24% of their children achieve junior secondary or more schooling. By contrast, for parents with less than primary education, 69% of their children have junior secondary or more schooling. Overall, the patterns suggest improvements in educational mobility across generations. There is suggestive evidence that groups with high educational mobility also exhibit high occupational mobility.

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