Author Archives: Editor

A new report says Hispanic identity is fading. Is that really good for America?

About US is a new initiative by The Washington Post to cover issues of identity in the U.S. Sign up for the newsletter .

Last semester, a student of mine named Fernando came to speak with me after the last meeting of my class on Latino identity. He thanked me for getting him to think about not only his roots but his connections with other Latinos, and our contributions to history and culture. He was an engineering student of Colombian ancestry and he’d done a presentation about a 1992 song by Mexican alternative rock group Café Tacuba called “Trópico […]

A new study says much of the rise in inequality is an illusion

Results from these papers are also mixed. Sunday hands me her smartphone and invites me to listen to a recording of her work, which is much better than I expected — though I am not sure what . ‘Predistribution’ is a new word for an old idea – that inequality and poverty should. (Note: see the New Yorker’s helpful infographic about wealth inequality and New York’s subway lines. It’s much more complicated than that. But we believe that the time has come for a new approach. Segregation and the wealth gap According to the Lewis Mumford Center at the […]

America Is Even Less Socially Mobile Than Most Economists Thought

Sociologists and economists are probably psyched that the work they’ve been doing on inequality and social mobility for decades has finally gotten attention from the average American. But one downside of having your message saturate the media is that people might start to take your findings for granted, which can obscure something that’s true of any data-based endeavor: Researchers are always learning new things, always trying to better map the extent of a phenomenon.

In this spirit, a Pew report out today tells us things about American social mobility that are new—and at the same time all too familiar. Scads […]

Opportunity & Affordability

Report Home // Portland’s Story // Prosperity & Productivity // Opportunity & Affordability // Workforce & Investment Climate // What This Means

This category is a reflection of a number of economic measures, including income inequality, commute times, poverty rates and housing costs. One of Portland-metro’s biggest challenges is housing affordability, which threatens continued prosperity and competitiveness throughout the region. Of all the comparator regions, Portland has the most cost-burdened households (those paying more than 30 percent of their income towards rent or a mortgage) and is tied with Seattle with respect to the ratio of median home price […]

Thirteen Economic Facts about Social Mobility and the Role of Education

This Hamilton Project policy memo provides thirteen economic facts on the growth of income inequality and its relationship to social mobility in America; on the growing divide in educational opportunities and outcomes for high- and low-income students; and on the pivotal role education can play in increasing the ability of low-income Americans to move up the income ladder. Chapter 1: Inequality Is Rising against a Background of Low Social Mobility

Central to the American ethos is the notion that it is possible to start out poor and become more prosperous: that hard work—not simply the circumstances you were […]

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


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 […]

Your life expectancy can vary depending on where you live — here are the US cities where residents live the longest

New York City Marathon

The first wave of runners make their way across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the start of the New York City Marathon. The first wave of runners make their way across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the start of the New York City Marathon. Reuters//Lucas Jackson New research from the Equality of Opportunity Project looks at how life expectancy can vary depending on income and location in the United States.

The paper suggests that low-income Americans live longest in big, dense cities, like New York; Santa Barbara, California; and Miami, Florida. High-income Americans live longest in Salt Lake City, Utah […]

What happens when Americans stop moving: A short-read Q&A with David Schleicher

Americans are no longer moving. And that’s a problem for the economy, adversely affecting everything from productivity growth, to income inequality, to monetary policy. At least, that’s the argument of law professor David Schleicher, author of the recent Yale Law Journal article, “ Stuck! The Law and Economics of Residential Stagnation ,” an insightful study of how state and local governments are hindering labor market mobility, why that’s a problem, and what can be done about it.

Below is an abbreviated transcript of our conversation (find the entire transcript here ). You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or […]

DAVOS: The Growing Dearth of Social Economic Mobility


Introduction: Growing Inequality

The recent oxford committee for famine (OXFAM) report stated that 82% of the global wealth earned in 2017 went to 1% of the population while the bottom half of humanity had no increase in their income. Intriguingly, forty two (42) individuals own as much wealth as 3.7 billion people.

Therefore, the richest 1% is richer than the whole rest of humanity. The present scenario rewards wealth ahead of hard work, thus making it more of a “billionaire bonanza”. Nigeria: A Lot More of The Same Back home in Nigeria the report stated that the richest man earns […]

Report Identifies Steps to Build Pathways Out of Poverty—But Are They Enough?

January 23, 2018, CityLab

While the US has long had a high level of economic inequality, in theory this was balanced in part by the notion that, as President Clinton once put it , “If you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll be rewarded with a good life for yourself and a better chance for your children.” There is at least a grain of truth in Clinton’s nostrum. After World War II, living standards did rise— median wages, adjusted for inflation, went up 95 percent in the quarter century after 1947 . Since the 1970s, however, wages, […]