Recent studies on Chile agree that the country’s youth enjoy greater social mobility than previous generations. This has been attributed either to their greater access to higher education or to life-cycle effects on occupation. A test of these two hypotheses by estimating the socioeconomic positions of four generations of Chileans using a model of analysis based on the social reproduction paradigm shows that younger generations of Chileans have a lower level of social inheritance than the rest of the population only during their initial years in the labor market. Therefore, the greater social mobility observed in them is temporary and is explained by life-cycle effects on occupation.
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