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Dimensions and Determinants of Upward Mobility: A Study Based on Longitudinal Data from Delhi Slums

IDE Research Bulletin

March 2014
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This study based on two primary surveys of the same households in two different years (2007/08 and 2012) assesses the extent of inter-temporal change in income of the individual workers and makes an attempt to identify the factors which explain upward mobility in alternate econometric framework, envisaging endogeneity problem. It also encompasses a host of indicators of wellbeing and constructs the transition matrix to capture the extent of change over time at the household level. The findings are indicative of a rise in the income of workers across a sizeable percentage of households though many of them remained below the poverty line notwithstanding this increase. In fact, there is a wide spread deterioration in the wellbeing index constructed at the household level. Among several determinants of income rise two important policy prescriptions can be elicited. Inadequate education reduces the probability of upward mobility while education above a threshold level raises it. Savings are crucial for upward mobility impinging on the importance of asset creation. Views that entail neighbourhood spill-over effects also received validation. Besides, investment in housing and basic amenities turns out to be crucial for improvement in wellbeing levels.