Economic Mobility in Urban Southeast Asia: The Case of the Philippines and Indonesia

Year: 2017       Vol.: 66       No.: 2      

Authors: Novee Lor Leyso, Arturo Martinez Jr., and Iva Sebastian


Recognizing that urban areas play a key role in addressing poverty and inequality in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 10, respectively, it is necessary to understand the dynamics of economic well-being of people living in urban areas to be able to formulate appropriate and effective strategies. Using economic mobility as a metric of well-being, this study aims to examine whether population size of urban areas has an impact on people's mobility prospects. We investigate this issue using longitudinal expenditure data from Indonesia and the Philippines. Our results show that city size has mixed effect on directional mobility in Indonesia and the Philippines; it has a negative but significant impact on the probability of Indonesians to experience upward mobility, but its effect on the probability of Filipinos to experience upward mobility is positive. On the other hand, in both countries, people living in megacities and micro urban areas experience more non-directional mobility with respect to several economic mobility measures.

Keywords: Economic mobility, Urbanization, Urban Poverty, Inequality, City Size, Panel Data, and Multinomial Logistic Regression