Inequality of Opportunity and the Transition from School to Work in Mexico City

Patricio Solís, El Colegio de México

Studies on social inequality in Latin America have mainly focused on inequality of condition, thus overlooking the factors contributing to the perseverance of inequality over time. It has been suggested that in order to understand these factors it is necessary to study how inequality of condition translates into inequality of opportunity. Using a life-course approach, in this paper I explore the extent in which socioeconomic circumstances of origin affect educational and occupational outcomes during the school-to-work transition in Mexico City (age at leaving school, years of education, age of entry into the labor force, and occupation of entry into the labor force). Results indicate that inequality of condition in social origins closely relates to inequality of outcomes, even after controlling by standard sociodemographic variables. These results point to the importance of the school-to-work transition as a crucial life-course stage in the intergenerational reproduction of social inequalities in urban Mexico.

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Presented in Session 62: Demography of Latin America