Determinants of Income Mobility in Uganda

  • Susan Namirembe-Kavuma
  • Edward Bbaale
Part of the Economic Studies in Inequality, Social Exclusion and Well-Being book series (EIAP)


This study investigates the rate and determinants of income mobility in Uganda using three waves of the household panel survey data (2009–2010, 2010–2011 and 2011–2012). It employs the Markov transition matrices and probit techniques for the analysis and finds a higher rate of income mobility (60 percent) at the bottom of the income distribution than at the top of the income distribution (43 percent). It also finds that capital stock, whether human or physical, has the most economically significant impact on income mobility. The impact of education is more pronounced at higher levels of educational attainment. For example, having a university degree increases the probability of moving up the income distribution level by 36 percentage points. Conversely, having a university degree reduces the probability of moving down the income distribution level by 21 percentage points. Having highly valued physical assets increases the chances of moving up the distribution ladder by 24 percentage points and reduces the movement down by 18 percentage points. Equally important are the gender of the household head, main source of income and geographical location of the household. Hence, there should be increased investments in education, especially at higher levels and strategies should be designed that are aimed at increasing the viability of land as a factor of production. Additionally, efforts aimed at women’s empowerment should also be strengthened.


Uganda income mobility transition matrix 

JEL Classification Codes

D30 D31 I30 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Namirembe-Kavuma
    • 1
  • Edward Bbaale
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EconomicsMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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