Here you can find information about the research I’ve been working on.

Working Papers

Using Machine Learning to Unveil the Determinants of Intergenerational Mobility (Job Market Paper)

Revise and Resubmit (1st round) - Review of Income and Wealth

Co-authors: Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Luís Martins.

Abstract: We assess the determinants of intergenerational mobility in income and education for a sample of 137 countries, between 1960 and 2018, using the World Bank’s Global Database on Intergenerational Mobility (GDIM). The Rigorous LASSO and the Random Forest and Gradient Boosting algorithms are considered to avoid the consequences of an ad-hoc model selection in our high dimensionality context. We obtain variable importance plots and analyse the relationships between mobility and its determinants through Shapley values. Results show that intergenerational income mobility is expected to be positively influenced by the share of married individuals and negatively influenced by the share of children that have completed less than primary education, the growth rate of population density, and inequality. Mobility in education is expected to have a positive relationship with the adult literacy, government expenditures on primary education, and the stock of migrants. The unemployment and poverty rates matter for income mobility, although the sign of their influence is not clear. The same occurs for education mobility and the growth rate of real GDP per capita, the degree of urbanization, the share of female population, and income mobility. Income mobility is found to be greater for the 1960s cohort. Countries belonging to the Latin America and Caribbean region present lower mobility in income and education. We find a positive relationship between predicted income mobility and observed mobility in education.

Presented at:

  • 44th Meeting Association of Southern European Economic Theorists (ASSET).

Tying me up or Letting me Fly: The Contribution of First Names or Surnames for Generational Mobility in Education

Previous title: Mother! Father! What Have You Done? The Contributions of First Names or Surnames for Generational Mobility

Co-authors: Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, Luís Martins & Fernando Batista.

Abstract: We construct two indexes based on a measure by Güell et al. (2015); the Informational Content of First Names (ICF) and the Informational Content of Surnames (ICS) to understand the impact of the choice of first names and the weight of family names on children’s educational attainment in Portugal. Our work is unique, as it is the only work in the literature to date using the ICF and ICS to study educational attainment in a country. Surnames explain about 14% of the observed variability of educational attainment, a considerable proportion, and first names are responsible for only 2%. Additionally, we explore mobility patterns across space. While first names present more informational content along the country’s coast than in its inner regions, the opposite occurs for surnames, even when accounting for internal migration. The informational content of surnames is greater if the retention and desistance rate in primary and lower secondary education are higher. The opposite occurs for inequality, when considering the P80/P20 ratio. A convex relationship between the informational content of surnames and the P90/P10 ratio and the Gini Index is found.

Using Survey Data to Estimate Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Education in Portugal

Revise and Resubmit (2nd round) - Social Indicators Research

Previous title: From Rags to Riches? Using Survey Data to Estimate Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Education in Portugal

Co-authors: Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Luís Martins.

Abstract: Previous studies about intergenerational mobility for the Portuguese economy find that education and income persistence is very high in comparison with other developed economies. We construct relative, absolute, global and local measures of mobility for Portugal, comparing them with existing evidence for this and other countries. These are the intergenerational income elasticity (computed using the two-sample two-stage least squares method), income correlation, rank-rank slope, bottom to top income level probability, the share of individuals earning more than their fathers and also the intergenerational education correlation, the low to high education level probability, and the share of individuals with a higher education level than their fathers. We consider the 1968-1988 cohorts and the 1995 and 2019 waves of the European Community Household Panel and the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, respectively. Overall, women present more mobility in income. Income persistence is high for children with low-income fathers, with upward mobility decreasing in the father’s income level. Women present a greater absolute educational mobility. More than 80% of individuals have a higher education than their fathers and full upward education mobility exists for children of low-educated fathers. Mobility in education is higher for the offspring of medium-high-income fathers. Individuals with a high education level, in the medium-high income level or with occupations requiring a higher education level show higher mobility.

Presented at:

  • Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL) Research Seminar in March 31, 2023.

  • 29th International Conference Computing in Economics and Finance in July 3, 2023.

  • 16th Annual Meeting of The Portuguese Economic Journal in July 7, 2023.

Uncovering the (Possible) Relationship between Central Bank Independence and Economic Growth in the Context of Monetary Unions

Revise and Resubmit (2nd round) - CESifo Economic Studies

Co-authors: Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Luís Martins.

Abstract: This work estimates the relationship between Central Bank independence (CBI) and economic growth in the context of monetary unions, using dynamic panel models. We use two measures of CBI: the Legal CBI index and the irregular turnover rate. When an irregular turnover of the Central Bank governor occurs it harms growth for countries outside monetary unions. On the contrary, the Legal CBI index is a positive factor for growth, although only regarding countries belonging to monetary unions. The Limitations on Lending to the Government is the most important component of the Legal CBI, which explains this result. Additionally, we analyse sub-samples taking into account the level of income, the number of crises, the existence of Quantitative Easing policies, and different time-windows. Interestingly, 1990-2013 was a period harmful for growth for the entire sample but benign for countries that belong to monetary unions. Moreover, when countries are in a crisis they benefit from being a member of a monetary union with an independent central bank. Results seem to point to the conclusion that Legal CBI in a monetary union has the potential to increase economic growth rates.

Varieties of Economic Elites? Preliminary Results from the World Elite Database (WED)

Under Review - British Journal of Sociology

Co-authors: members of other countries’ teams.

Abstract: available upon request.

Other Research Activities

World Elite Database

Member of the Portuguese Team.

Project coordinated by the London School of Economics (LSE).