Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 367–417 | Cite as

Intergenerational Educational Mobility During Expansion Reform: Evidence from Mexico

  • Daniela R. Urbina


How does intergenerational educational mobility change under educational expansion? This paper examines this question in Mexico, which enacted two important school expansion plans between 1959 and 1992. Using the 2011 Mexican Social Mobility Survey, I analyze how intergenerational mobility changes under different phases of expansion reform, and how do these trends vary according to the particular stage of the schooling process. Main findings indicate that mobility patterns are not stalled across cohorts, as reproduction theories predict. However, they do not reflect equalization at all levels of education either, as modernization hypotheses anticipate. Expansion reforms, especially the “11-year plan,” are associated with positive trends in mobility in primary and lower-secondary schooling, but also with a decrease in intergenerational mobility at higher levels of education. Thus, these findings are consistent with the maximally maintained inequality hypothesis.


Intergenerational mobility Education Maximally maintained inequality Cohort analysis Expansion reform Latin America Mexico 



I specially want to thank Mike Hout, David Greenberg, Florencia Torche, and Lawrence Wu for their valuable feedback and guidance. I also thank Fundación Espinosa Rugarcía (ESRU) for providing me the 2011 Mexican Social Mobility Survey (MSMS). Research reported in this publication was supported by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P2CHD047879. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Office of Population ResearchPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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