November 2011

IZA DP No. 6139: Decline in Social Mobility: Unfulfilled Aspirations among Egypt's Educated Youth

This paper studies how the gradual suspension of an employment guarantee scheme for secondary and post-secondary graduates has affected intergenerational mobility across well-educated cohorts in Egypt. The empirical results support suggestive evidence in the Middle East of a decline in social mobility among the increasingly well-educated youth. The results further indicate that unequal opportunities are due to difficulties in attaining high-level occupations in the formal private sector for graduates from a lower socio-economic background, and that personal connections may play a decisive role. Thus, aside from credit market imperfections, labor market constraints may be important in explaining low social mobility.