Program on Political Economy Seminar


Thursday, February 13, 2020, 4:30pm to 5:45pm


CGIS Knafel K354

Today's presenter

Elias Papaioannou (London Business School, visiting MIT) presents, "Intergenerational Mobility in Africa." (Link to paper here)


"We examine intergenerational mobility (IM) in educational attainment in Africa since independence, using census data from 26 countries. First, we map and characterize the geography of IM. There is substantial variation both across and within countries with differences in literacy of the old generation being the strongest correlate of IM. Inertia is stronger for rural, as compared to urban, households and present for both boys and girls. Second, we explore the correlates of mobility across more than 2,800 regions. Colonial investments in the transportation network and missionary activity are associated with upward mobility. IM is also higher in regions close to the coast and national capitals as well as in rugged areas without malaria. Upward mobility is higher and downward mobility is lower in regions that were more developed at independence, with higher urbanization and employment in services and manufacturing. Third, we identify the effects of regions on educational mobility by exploiting within-family variation from children whose families moved during primary school age. While sorting is sizable, there are considerable regional exposure effects."

All interested faculty and students are invited to attend. 

Co-sponsored by FAS and IQSS, the Program on Political Economy (PE) supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies.