Tag Archives: education

Conference on social mobility draws national experts on education, policy and economics

Upwardly mobile:

Robert Archibald, chancellor professor of economics at William & Mary, presented at the Conference on Higher Education and Social Mobility, held in the W&M School of Education April 21-22. Photo by Skip Rowland ’83 In the age of smartphones, air travel and ride sharing, Americans are more mobile than ever — except, perhaps, in the one way that matters most.

According to Robert Archibald, William & Mary chancellor professor of economics , and David Feldman, professor of economics at W&M, when it comes to measures of social mobility — a concept referring to the generational movement in social status and […]

American Dream in Freefall: It’s This Bad


The authors of the new study found a sharp decline in absolute mobility and that reversing the trend means "more equal economic redistribution." (Photo: Jeremy Brooks/flickr/cc) Whither the American Dream?

It may not be totally dead, but a new study suggests that it is certainly on life support.

Published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science , the team of researchers led by Raj Chetty and David Grusky of Stanford University used data from federal income tax returns and U.S. Census and Current Population Surveys to look at trends of this "absolute mobility," or earning more than […]

Here’s why homeownership gaps exist

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Flickr/Brent and Amanda I Homeownership is a goal shared among all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, and remains the main driver of wealth creation for the majority of households in the United States. That is why it is vital to understand the underlying characteristics that influence the probability of homeownership. Over the last several months, my research has explored the influence of marital status and family formation , education , income and economic factors on homeownership rates. Today, I examine how ethnicity impacts the probability of homeownership.

Not surprisingly, ethnicity and homeownership rates is a frequent topic of research […]

Occidental Tops for Quality, Economic Mobility

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Occidental is one of the country’s top liberal arts colleges as measured by the quality of education and the economic mobility it delivers to its students, according to new rankings from the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times . In the inaugural Wall Street Journal /Times Higher Education college rankings , Occidental emerged as No. 27 among liberal arts colleges. Unlike many other college rankings, the WSJ/THE list focuses not on test scores and acceptance rates but such factors as resources devoted to academic programs, effective student engagement, graduation rates, and alumni salaries.

“We focus on what students […]

How Child Care Enriches Mothers, and Especially the Sons They Raise


Jasmin Cross trying to study while her sons, Sebastian and Vyvyan, played in their home in Portland, Ore. She attends a community college and their father works full time, which she said they could not do without free child care through Head Start. As many American parents know, hiring care for young children during the workday is punishingly expensive, costing the typical family about a third of its income.

Helping parents pay for that care would be expensive for society, too. Yet recent studies show that of any policy aimed to help struggling families, aid for high-quality care has the […]

From the departments of overkill and “what are they afraid of?”: Lawmakers advance anti-union constitutional amendment


In 2017, there can be no doubt that North Carolina is one of the most hostile states in America to labor unions. In a time in which corporate greed already reigns supreme and corporate-sponsored politicians have been waging an unrelenting and frequently successful war on working people and their families, generally, the union movement in North Carolina is a small and beleaguered cause. Though it is often enormously creative, plucky, and determined and doing great things for all working people in the state (not just the tiny fragment of the workforce it represents officially), the North Carolina union movement […]

Colby ’20: Internship inequities


The conclusion of spring semester is, for many, a joyous moment. For others it signals an impending deadline to find a summer internship. Even with this deadline mere weeks away, for many Brown students, summer internship prospects remain uncertain. The emphasis that recruiters place upon experience gained through internships means that the hunt for such opportunities begins as early as freshman year. After all, students who begin looking for jobs as seniors will have a tougher time than students who have significant experience under their belts by the time they graduate. But, as it turns out, there are substantial […]

African-Americans can’t just pull themselves up by their bootstraps

Helping hand: Irish workers eat their lunch on a girder in New York in 1932. Catholic immigrants — such as those from Italy and Ireland — relied upon government spending to help them get a start in the United States

Helping hand: Irish workers eat their lunch on a girder in New York in 1932. Catholic immigrants — such as those from Italy and Ireland — relied upon government spending to help them get a start in the United States

Recently, the results of the American National Election Survey were released, showing troubling findings: Convictions about the perceived failures of particular racial groups were a more certain predictor of votes than income inequality or authoritarianism. Specifically, the ANES found that President Trump’s voters tended to agree more than past Republican voters with the notion that “Italians, Irish” and […]

Income Inequality Matters, but Mobility Is Just as Important

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Concerns about rising income inequality are based on comparing income distributions over time. It is important to remember that such distributions are snapshots of a single year, and that the same households do not necessarily appear year after year in the same quintile of the distribution. Paying attention to mobility, as well as inequality, gives us a richer picture of the income possibilities for households over time. We document changes in a measure of income mobility over the past 40 years, a period in which income inequality has increased. We find a modest level of movement through the distribution, […]

The Important Role of Tax Policy in Promoting Economic Mobility

The Important Role of Tax Policy in Promoting Economic Mobility

Tax preferences are an important policy tool, totaling $1.2 trillion each year. Through the tax system, the federal government promotes homeownership, college attendance, retirement savings, and health insurance. However, these tax preferences are “upside down,” directing most of the relief to high-income households and those whose income comes from wealth rather than earnings. Even those who receive these subsidies often don’t see themselves as benefitting from government help.

Since 1970, U.S. tax policy has become less progressive, contributing to sharp increases in income inequality , which has now reached levels […]