Author Archives: Editor

White Americans’ Mortality Rates Are Rising. Something Similar Happened in Russia from 1965 to 2005


In 2015 Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton published a stunning finding : The mortality rates for working-age white Americans have been rising since 1999. For mortality rates to rise instead of fall is extremely rare in developed countries except as a result of war or pandemic. However, history does offer a recent example of a large industrialized country where mortality rates rose over an extended period: Russia in the decades before and after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Although there are important differences between the two phenomena, there are also sobering similarities. From 1965 to 2005 the mortality […]

Women’s Work: The Economic Mobility of Women Across a Generation

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Men have long been the dominant participants in the paid labor force, but a significant number of women have joined them during the past 40 years. In the early 1970s, 43 percent of all women were wage earners. Today, nearly 6 in 10 women are working for pay.

Much of this growth can be attributed to working mothers, who increased their numbers in the workforce by 50 percent over the past generation. Previous research by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that, as more women entered the labor force, movement up the economic ladder increasingly became a family enterprise.

Measuring men’s mobility […]

GOP Medicaid cuts would hurt much more than health care

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The program contributes to lower dropout rates, more college degrees, higher earnings, emptier jails and thriving economies. In short, the American dream.

The Senate’s new health bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act , proposes even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House bill. At risk is a program that provides relatively low-cost care to nearly 75 million Americans — including children, pregnant women, disabled individuals and elderly people in nursing homes.

As physicians, we are dismayed by the prospect of millions of patients losing access to the medical care they need. But what is often lost in the debate about […]

Intergenerational mobility and preferences for redistribution


Americans are generally thought to view the economic system as fair and see wealth as a reward for ability and effort, while Europeans tend to believe that the economic system is unfair, and that wealth is the result of circumstances. This column tests this using new evidence on beliefs about intergenerational mobility in four European countries and the US, and confirms that Europeans do indeed tend to be overly pessimistic about moving up the social ladder compared to reality, while Americans are overly optimistic. These perceptions have important implications for how redistribution and equal opportunity policies will be received.

John […]

NZIER says focus on social mobility not inequality


The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) has today released a new Insight titled “Peak Inequality – New Zealand’s False Truth” . The Insight is based on new data and shows that despite popular opinion, income inequality in New Zealand hasn’t changed in the past 20 years, and it’s been at the current level before. Derek Gill, a Principal Economist from NZIER, said “The data tells us that our current level of income inequality is actually the same as it was in the 1930s and 1940s. A real concern is poverty and how this leads to reduced social […]

In Mexico, economic opportunity increases the closer your skin gets to white


It’s no secret there’s widespread racism in Mexico, but a new study shows the surprising precision with which skin color can determine socio-economic status.

The darker the skin tone, the less upward mobility a Mexican can expect to have, according to the paper (link in Spanish) which was released earlier this month by Mexico’s National Statistics and Geography Institute (INEGI).

The findings are based on a 2016 survey that asked respondents to match their skin to a palette of 11 shades, with A being the darkest and K the lightest. The answers they gave to questions about their economic status were […]

A primer on economic mobility in America


The Archbridge Institute has kicked off a three-part series that explores intergenerational economic mobility—i.e., how much people’s income differs from that of their parents. In the first installment , author Scott Winship attempts to make sense of what he calls an “explosion of mobility research.”

The report uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which has tracked the income of a nationally representative sample of adults and their children for nearly fifty years. Given income’s sensitivity to age and chance, assessing economic mobility is challenging. To address this, data are collected from over six hundred parents and […]

A tale of two Canadas: Where you grew up affects your income in adulthood


In Canada, geography is destiny: Your financial future, to a surprisingly large degree, depends on the place in Canada where you happen to grow up.

That reality is revealed on this map and our accompanying set of interactive graphics, produced using a new analysis of millions of Canadians’ income data , the result of years of work by economist Miles Corak.

His study charts intergenerational economic mobility – that is, the chance that people who spent their childhood in that location ended up, as adults, higher on the income and economic-status ranking than their parents. If a region is bright green, […]

A tale of two Canadas: Where you grew up affects your income in adulthood


In Canada, geography is destiny: Your financial future, to a surprisingly large degree, depends on the place in Canada where you happen to grow up.

That reality is revealed on this map and our accompanying set of interactive graphics, produced using a new analysis of millions of Canadians’ income data , the result of years of work by economist Miles Corak.

His study charts intergenerational economic mobility – that is, the chance that people who spent their childhood in that location ended up, as adults, higher on the income and economic-status ranking than their parents. If a region is bright green, […]

A minority ‘not getting a fair go’ is NZ’s real worry, says researcher

Income, inequality, poverty, housing, investment.

Inequality is not the main problem for New Zealand, according to a new report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). Income, inequality, poverty, housing, investment. The report said income inequality in New Zealand had changed little in the past 20 years, and had been at the current level before.

"What worries me isn’t inequality per se, what worries me is a minority of New Zealanders who basically aren’t getting a fair go," said Derek Gill, principal economist at NZIER.

Though surveys suggested New Zealanders were becoming increasingly concerned about inequality, the research said a bigger concern was relatively […]