We explore the role of social mobility as driver of economic development. First, we draw the geography of intergenerational mobility of education for 52 Latin American regions, as well as its evolution over time. Then, through a novel weighting procedure that considers the aggregate participation of cohorts to the economy in every year, we estimate the effect of changes in mobility on economic indicators, such as income per capita, poverty, child mortality, and luminosity. Our findings show that increasing social mobility had a significant and robust impact on the long-run development of Latin American regions.
(joint work with Matías Ciaschi, Leonardo Gasparini, and Joaquín Serrano)