First interned, then left behind


Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 drew the United States into World War II and spawned a massive wave of shock and fear across the country. It also prompted the U.S. government to round up and send more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Scholars have long studied this dark chapter in American history and its denial of basic freedoms, but until recently little was known about the long-term economic effects on the lives of the people who were interned, their businesses, homes, and possessions hastily left behind.

Harvard economist Daniel Shoag and Nicholas Carollo, a Ph.D. candidate in economics […]

How Regulations Impede Economic Mobility


Why are Americans less likely to move to better opportunities than they used to be? The Wall Street Journal reports : When opportunity dwindles, a natural response—the traditional American instinct—is to strike out for greener pastures. Migrations of the young, ambitious and able-bodied prompted the Dust Bowl exodus to California in the 1930s and the reverse migration of blacks from Northern cities to the South starting in the 1980s. Yet the overall mobility of the U.S. population is at its lowest level since measurements were first taken at the end of World War II, falling by almost half […]

Trump is right: Americans need to move where the jobs are

In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) President Trump said something last week that deserves a lot more attention. Americans “are going to have to start moving," Trump said in his interview with The Wall Street Journal (Politico leaked the full transcript of the exchange this week).

He’s right.

Americans aren’t packing up and moving like they used to. Mobility is at an all-time low , according to the Census Bureau, which has […]

The myth of the American Dream

economic mobility

The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it’s actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations.

It’s easier to rise above the class you’re born into in countries like Japan, Germany, Australia, and the Scandinavian nations, according to research from University of Ottawa economist and current Russell Sage Foundation Fellow Miles Corak.

Among the major developed countries, only in Italy and the United Kingdom is there less economic mobility, according to Corak.The research measures […]

Race gaps in SAT scores highlight inequality and hinder upward mobility


Taking the SAT is an American rite of passage. Along with the increasingly popular ACT, the SAT is critical in identifying student readiness for college and as an important gateway to higher education. Yet despite efforts to equalize academic opportunity, large racial gaps in SAT scores persist. The great score divide

The SAT provides a measure of academic inequality at the end of secondary schooling. Moreover, insofar as SAT scores predict student success in college, inequalities in the SAT score distribution reflect and reinforce racial inequalities across generations.

In this paper, we analyze racial differences in the math section […]

This Is the Wrong Way to Fight Inequality

So first, the good news: The notion that income inequality has caused harm in America has finally broken into the hubs of elite opinion. The sort of socio-political tastemaker who not so long ago denied the problem, has moved on to dissembling about it instead. That’s progress, of a sort. DREAM HOARDERS: HOW THE AMERICAN UPPER MIDDLE CLASS IS LEAVING EVERYONE ELSE IN THE DUST, WHY THAT IS A PROBLEM, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT by Richard ReevesBrookings Institution Press, 240 pp., $24.00 Dream Hoarders, a book by Brookings senior fellow Richard Reeves, is the latest entry into […]

Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong

A man cleans up confetti while surrounded by tourists in Times Square in New York.

A lot of factors have contributed to American inequality: slavery, economic policy, technological change, the power of lobbying, globalization, and so on. In their wake, what’s left?

That’s the question at the heart of a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy , by Peter Temin, an economist from MIT. Temin argues that, following decades of growing inequality, America is now left with what is more or less a two-class system: One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy (but […]

Why does income inequality matter | Page 5


Your expectation is completely impossible to have take place on a wide scale. Very very few people rise from poor to billionaire. And it’s pretty damn amazing 30 something out of 70 of the worlds richest people did just that.

The realistic outcome is every generation moves a rung up the ladder. That is exactly what happens in America if you,

Stay off drugs Don’t have a child before 23 (I would have to check that exact number, it may even be lower) Raise a child in a two parent household.[…]

These Groups Help Young French Immigrants Gain Social Mobility

In France’s beleaguered suburbs, grassroots organizations are picking up the slack and working towards a more equitable society

Despite having the highest welfare spending in the EU, France’s meritocratic approach to social mobility has faltered. Children of blue collar workers have a 10 percent chance of landing white collar jobs, and according to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report , it’s harder for young French immigrants to move up the social ladder than anyone else. While the state pays for education, healthcare and unemployment benefits, it has failed to foster equal economic opportunity to tackle its […]

Damning evidence of wealth disparity highlights inequality across generations

A woman looks at real estate advertising on an internet website in Brisbane, 6 January 2014

“The report finds that home ownership among those aged under 40 has plummeted since 2002, with the current housing boom in Sydney having a massive impact.” The latest report of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (Hilda) survey , released today by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, shows that the real income of households is now lower than it was in 2009. And while the measure of income inequality appears stable, the report finds that housing ownership has drastically declined for people under the age of 40 as the economic disparity between those […]