World Economy

Economic Mobility Stalls in Many Developing Countries

Economic Mobility Stalls in Many Developing CountriesEconomic Mobility Stalls in Many Developing Countries

Generations of poor people in developing countries are trapped in a cycle of poverty determined by their circumstance at birth and unable to ascend the economic ladder due to inequality of opportunity, a recent report by the World Bank Group has stated.

The report titled: “Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations Around the World,” noted that mobility had stalled in the last 30 years, Thisdaylive reported.

According to the World Bank, a close examination of six large developing countries–Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria–revealed that economic mobility rose in all of them from the 1940s to the 1980s, albeit to varying degrees.

However, it pointed out that since the 1960s, progress had slowed in four of these countries “and completely stalled in China and Nigeria.”

“The global trends in gender convergence are seen in Brazil, China, Egypt and Indonesia, where the mobility gaps between girls and boys are close to zero. No such convergence has taken place in India or Nigeria, where the gender gaps are almost as large today as they were a half century ago,” it added.

The report tracked economic mobility between parents and their children through the prism of education, a critical asset that influences an individual’s lifetime earnings. It looked at people born between 1940 and 1980, and found that 46 out of 50 countries with the lowest rates of mobility from the bottom to the top are in the developing world.

Gender gaps, however were closing with girls in high-income countries now out-performing boys in tertiary education and catching up in the developing world. It noted that in the not too distant future, the share of girls with more education than their parents would exceed the equivalent share for boys globally.

The ability to move up the economic ladder, irrespective of the socioeconomic background of one’s parents, contributes to reducing poverty and inequality, and may help boost economic growth by giving everyone a chance to use their talents, the report noted.

People living in more mobile societies are more optimistic about their children’s future, which is likely to lead to a more aspirational and cohesive society.

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