Cuadernos de Historia Económica - Social mobility in education: Los Andes University in Colombia from 1949 to 2018

Keep in mind

La serie Cuadernos de Historia Económica es una publicación del Banco de la República – Sucursal Cartagena. Las opiniones contenidas en el presente documento son responsabilidad exclusiva de los autores y no comprometen al Banco de la República ni a su Junta Directiva.

Autor o Editor
Jaramillo-Echeverri, Juliana

The series of Cuadernos de Historia Económica is a publication of Banco de la República in Cartagena. The opinions contained in this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not commit Banco de la República or its Board of Directors.

Fecha de publicación


The role of education in promoting social mobility has been highlighted in the literature. But how much  mobility have high-quality universities yielded historically? This research focuses on a case study of historical social mobility in access to high-quality education in Colombia. By using estimations based on unique surnames and their relative representation among graduates from Universidad de los Andes from 1949 to 2018, intergenerational mobility coefficients are estimated for ethnic and elite surnames. These estimations provide new evidence of long-term social mobility patterns in Colombia and reveal low mobility and persistence in the historical elite, as well as underrepresentation of ethnic groups. It is further concluded that this methodological approach can be a useful tool for studying countries with limitations in historical data for measuring social mobility.