The ANU’s prolific Andrew Leigh has just released a co-authored paper on the topic of social mobility in China (with an abstract available here). Although I don’t pretend to appreciate all of the nuance, the full paper provides much fodder for anyone who spends any time trying to understand “transitional” economies, and the political systems they breed.

It prompted me to ask whether anybody out there is aware of similar treatments, statistically-intensive or otherwise, that deal with inter-generational inequalities and social mobility in Thailand, or the other countries of mainland Southeast Asia. My (admittedly superficial) trawl of the easily accessible literature suggested that there has been very little research of this sort.

Nonetheless I expect that the data would be available for Thailand, even if it ended up taking quite a bit of time to massage it into a usable format. While we might all like to speculate on the results I would be intrigued to see any hard statistical insights on the extent to which what Leigh, et al, call “transgenerational persistence” plays a part in Thai (or Burmese, Cambodian, etc) social (im)mobility.