Education and territorial circumstances | Article

The high inequality of opportunity in Mexico is determined by factors such as the educational background of people, as well as others such as territorial factors. Although in recent years certain advances in education have been observed in rural areas compared to urban areas, when differentiated by this territorial factor, a more intense stratification based on educational origin is obvious. If we want education to be the best driver of social mobility, we have no choice but to undertake planning that will reduce the impact of these territorial circumstances.

The results of a recent CEEY analysis (Espinosa, De la Torre and Vélez Grajales, 2023), based on the National Survey of Income and Expenditures of Households (ENIGH) for the period 2016-2022, show that the short-term dynamics of national educational mobility are characterized by a stratification problem. In our book For Equal Trial, Luis Monroy-Gómez-Franco and I mentioned that inequality of opportunity in Mexico explains at least half of the inequality in economic resources.

Regarding its composition, we note that it consists of three types of circumstances that do not depend on people: economic and educational circumstances of their home, territorial circumstances and personal characteristics. Although each circumstance on its own contributes to inequality of opportunity, the interaction between them amplifies its effect. In this sense, the analysis of educational mobility mentioned above can be expanded to include a territorial component, in which case we analyze the result obtained taking into account the urban and rural situation of the population.

In particular, in this text I will compare (relative) educational mobility from 2016 to 2022 between urban and rural populations, that is, the share of people achieving vocational education, taking into account the educational level of origin (their parents’ education). The analysis is limited to the population aged 18 to 24 years who are still living with their parents, as this is the only way in ENIGH to obtain information on educational background. This approach does not lead to any obvious bias.

In terms of results, I found that the proportion of urban young people with vocational training increased over this period, both among those whose parents had lower levels of education (0-6 years of schooling) and those whose parents had higher levels of education. educational level. (more than 12 years). As for the former, the share increased from 15 to 18 percent. Among the latter, the increase was from 58 to 61 percent. On the other hand, among rural youth, these proportions improved only for those with parents with lower educational levels, increasing from 7 to 10 percent (for the group with an educational advantage by origin, they remained at 54 percent). It should be noted that, although the likelihood of receiving vocational education has increased for people with the most disadvantaged levels of education, the gap with the most advantaged segments of the population is wide: between the extremes of the likelihood of receiving vocational education, that is, among the urban population, parents with vocational education, and among the rural population, parents with a lower educational level – for the former it is six times higher.

While it is true that the likelihood of exceeding the educational level of their parents is greater among young people in rural areas, it is also true that the average educational level of the urban population (over 29 years of age) remains at an advantage. 3.4 years (10 and 6.6 years, respectively). Combined with the educational mobility data I report, this means that the opportunity space by educational background is differentiated along territorial lines, in this case urban versus rural. If we do not include this last component in educational planning, we will find it difficult to eliminate the great weight that educational differences in people’s backgrounds contribute to inequality of opportunity in our country.

*Roberto Velez is the Executive Director of CEEY. X: @robertovelezg

Source: Aristegui Noticias