NTA2020 Cedillo Villar

Global Meeting on Population and the Generational Economy, August 2020

Presentation: Cedillo Villar, Unequal opportunities of human capital investment from different socio-economic origins in Mexico 1994, 2006 and 2014


"The main objective of this paper is to understand how the socioeconomic inequality affects the human capital investment in Mexico at household level. This research project is using the Human Development Index as a measure of inequality in three socioeconomic dimensions (education, economic wealth and health). People from different socioeconomic conditions or origins have different opportunities to invest on human capital. This research project is using the National Transfer Account (NTA) and Human Development Index (HDI) approaches to show that the opportunities of invest on education is restricted by individual and contextual socioeconomic inequalities. The main claim of this article is that HDI can make possible to analyses de patters of human capital investment, income and consumption by unequal subpopulation. The economic theory explains that human capital investment is indispensable to achieve development. So, it is a governmental and private obligation to redistribute resources that could reduce the socioeconomic inequalities and improve the life conditions of people. However, structural inequalities can have affected the capacities and opportunities of people with the worst life conditions. Then, is it interesting to analyze what are the main variables that affected a low human capital investment in that kind of households? The main data sources are the Mexican Survey of Household Income and Expenditure Survey (ENIGH) and the National Accounts System of Mexico (SCNM). Both are publicly available from the Mexican Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI). This project tries to answer three general questions: A) Which groups could invest in human capital? B) Where should the Mexican government invest more to improve human capital and reduce gaps in socioeconomic inequality? C) How the different capacities and opportunities in human development affects the human capital investment at household level? D) Which sociodemographic variables affected the level of human capital investment at household level? This research assumes, as a hypothesis, that a higher economic life cycle deficit less possible transfer of resources to dependents (children, young people and the elderly). Consequently, it is expected that education investment will be differentiated and inequitable in Mexico; as a result, this situation could contribute to the generational reproduction of educational inequalities and would affect total productivity factors and economic growth in the long term. The principal contribution of this project is to incorporate the inequality analysis perspective in the National Transfer Account Approach. It is relevant to note that some Mexican specificities about transfer behavior on the economic life cycle deficit could be explained by the inclusion of an inequality dimension. Consequently, studying how inequality affects the possibility of human capital investment throughout the economic life cycle is relevant to understanding the specificity of intergenerational transfers flow in Mexico and analyzing gaps between people from various socioeconomic origins."

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