Research on long term trends of social stauts
Inequality in access to high-quality education can hinder the ability of education to promote intergenerational mobility. Looking at the case of Colombia, one of the most unequal and least mobile countries in Latin America, we evaluate whether contemporary differences in access to high-quality education have deep roots in the past. The results confirm that in several cases the original social status of the historical groups is highly associated with their contemporary performance in educational outcomes. We explore assortative mating as a possible mechanism behind these results, finding evidence of contemporary homogamy within the historical elites and ethnic surnames. We conclude that the educational system in Colombia reproduces patterns of social exclusion that are rooted in the past. working paper blog en español
Social mobility and the mechanisms behind the transmission of status between generations have been widely studied from different disciplines such as sociology, economics, and economic history. Despite the abundant literature, researchers have reached different conclusions regarding the speed of regression to the mean, and the determinants of mobility. Additionally, the data availability has been an obstacle in countries like Colombia, where there is a lack of reliable data on income and wealth, particularly in the long–run. This paper analyses intergenerational mobility using graduates from Los Andes University from 1949 to 2018. I estimate lower bounds of the intergenerational elasticity of social status. These new estimations allow us to understand long-term patterns of social mobility in Colombia by linking the present to the past. The results uncover different patterns of social mobility with coefficients that range from 0.45 to 0.6. Long-surviving elite families show lower social mobility in comparison to elite families that belong exclusively to the pre-industrial period or new elite families. Publicado en 2023 en Análisis Político
Currently, I am building a network of researchers from other countries, to lay the foundations for an all-Latin American social mobility project. The idea with this network is to contributes to the literature by assembling different data–sets to track persistence and social mobility in the presence of fragmented information. At the moment we have researchers from Colombia, Chile, México and Uruguay. If you are interested in the project please get in touch!
In the last two years, Colombia and Chile have witnessed strong social protests, characterized by slogans against inequality and the lack of social mobility. We propose a comparative study on social mobility and the persistence of structural social inequalities in both countries. We test if social immbobility is rooted in historical forms of social segregation and base our analysis in surname methods. We conclude that there are clear indications of a significant persistence of upward immobility of the groups that were originally segregated during the colonial period: Afro-descendants (Colombia) and indigenous people (in both). In both countries, there is a clear persistence of the elites of the second half of the 19th century in todays highest position of the social ladder. You can find the working paper here.