Intergenerational earnings mobility and equality of opportunity in South Africa

7 August 2014
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: D63, J62

The paper estimates the degree of intergenerational earnings persistence in South Africa. It explores the link between this measure of social mobility and an index of inequality of opportunity. Using microdata from the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), the paper finds that intergenerational earnings mobility in South Africa is low. In addition, a limited set of inherited circumstances explains a significant fraction of earnings inequality among male adults. Adding South Africa to the existing international literature supports the hypothesis that low levels of intergenerational mobility and equality of opportunity are emblematic of high-inequality emerging economies.

Working paper 448
1 August 2014
Journal: World Development