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The Geography of Intergenerational Education Mobility in Italy: Trends and Mediating Factors

Debora Di Gioacchino, Laura Sabani and Stefano Usai

No 240, Working Papers in Public Economics from University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Economics and Law

Abstract: Using survey data, we contribute to the literature on temporal evolution of educational attainment by parental background by providing the estimates of the intergenerational education mobility in Italian regions across seven birth cohorts. Results of intergenerational correlation between parents and children’s education show that in the last fifty years mobility increased in almost all regions, although for the youngest cohorts this decline seems to have ended. Northeast regions and Central regions are the most mobile, followed by Northwest and South regions. This pattern is robust to alternative measures of relative mobility. As expected, we find that - at least for the youngest cohorts - there is a negative correlation between mobility and economic factors such as unemployment and poverty. This suggests that credit constraints explain bottom tail persistence in education. A positive correlation between the intergenerational education mobility and the degree of inequality as measured by the GINI coefficient exists across Italian regions, consistent with the "Great Gatsby curve" documented across countries. In addition, we find a positive association between mobility, indexes of social capital and the number of graduates in the regions. Measures of school quality (PISA test) are positively correlated with regional educational mobility.

Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility; Education and Inequality; Italy; Geography (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I28 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34
Date: 2023-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-geo and nep-ure
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