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Title: Poverty, remoteness and social mobility of the indigenous population in Mexico
Author: de Alba, Iván Guillermo González
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 7027
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis seeks to understand the differences between the indigenous and the non-indigenous populations in Mexico in terms of poverty and to analyse what explains these differences. The thesis departs from the official multidimensional poverty measure that has been adopted in Mexico. The thesis distinguishes from the official results in at least four areas: 1) the main poverty indicator and how it is estimated; 2) a deeper understanding of the indigenous and non-indigenous; 3) the analysis of robustness and redundancy across dimensions and; 4) the use of standard errors to compare groups and across time. This dissertation then focuses on remoteness, since a high percentage of the indigenous population live in small isolated rural communities, and there is a relationship between the locality size and the standard of living. In order to quantify the remoteness, and to be able to compare indigenous and non-indigenous populations, a measure of remoteness is proposed. Then also explores how different the social mobility for the indigenous is, compared to non-indigenous. While there are studies that allow comparisons of indigenous and non-indigenous in relation to social mobility, this thesis suggests a measure of absolute social mobility that uses the framework of the Alkire-Foster methodology for multidimensional poverty. Finally, this thesis explores the role of ethnic discrimination using the Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions. Also, an innovative method to study discrimination is also presented, based on the propensity score match techniques. At the end, this dissertation argues there is a vicious cycle of indigenous poverty in Mexico. In a nutshell, the fact that the indigenous are poorer means they rely more on state intervention while being discriminated against in the labour markets. Discrimination is an incentive to remain geographically isolated and lowers their intergenerational social mobility. As a result, the indigenous live in remote rural localities, where harder and more expensive for the state to reach. Thus, the indigenous have less access to state support. The thesis follows a mixed-methods approach, that combines quantitative analysis based on information at national level with analysis of data collected during fieldwork in 2011.
Supervisor: Alkire, Sabina Sponsor: CONACYT ; Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Poverty ; Indigenous ; Multidimensional poverty ; Remoteness ; Indigenous population ; Social mobility ; Mexico