Tag Archives: education

Doubts about upward mobility can derail schoolwork


New research suggests high school and college students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds have less drive to overcome academic hardships when they harbor doubts about the odds of people with similar backgrounds achieving upward economic mobility.

Three new studies extend previous research demonstrating that low-SES students who see education as a viable path to upward mobility are more inclined to succeed in their educational pursuits despite the numerous academic barriers facing students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Prior research has shown that students from low-SES backgrounds are motivated to persist during difficult academic experiences when they feel school can concretely contribute to […]

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


A big-data picture of Canada reveals that the place you grew up determines your financial future. An analysis of millions of Canadians’ income data shows a country of opportunity, with most children out-earning their parents – but also a country pocked with mobility traps, where moving up the income ladder is far from certain

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 […]

How the middle class hoards wealth and opportunity for itself


American society is dominated by an upper-class 20% that ruthlessly protects its own interests When I was growing up, my mother would sometimes threaten my brother and me with electrocution. Well, thats not quite right. In fact, security threats was of lessons in elocution, but we wittily, we guessed renamed them.

Growing up in a very ordinary township simply north of London and attending a very ordinary high school, one of our several linguistic atrocities was failing to pronounce the t in certain words. My mom, who was raised in rural north Wales and left school at 16, did not […]

How the middle class hoards wealth and opportunity for itself


When I was growing up, my mother would sometimes threaten my brother and me with electrocution. Well, that’s not quite right. In fact, the threat was of lessons in elocution, but we – wittily, we thought – renamed them.

Growing up in a very ordinary town just north of London and attending a very ordinary high school, one of our several linguistic atrocities was failing to pronounce the “t” in certain words. My mother, who was raised in rural north Wales and left school at 16, did not want us to find doors closed in a class-sensitive society simply because […]

Intergenerational mobility and preferences for redistribution


Summary:
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 […]

Inequity, iniquity amid rising income inequality


Acute income and economic inequality, the negative phenomenon spawned by neoliberal economics, continues to widen worldwide. Wealth gets concentrated, in scandalous scale, in the hands of the few super-rich, depriving billions of the poor all over the world sufficient means to survive.

World Bank-International Monetary Fund designed policies/programs pursued by governments to achieve “sustainable and inclusive growth” have failed to stop, much less reverse the trend.

Meanwhile, the old problems of social inequity and iniquity continue to burden the people in practically every country – whether “developed,” “developing,” or “underdeveloped.”Let’s look at some instances on the continuing inequity and iniquity in […]

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 […]

Where the American Dream Lives and Dies


Rags-to-riches stories , like Benjamin Franklin’s , have always captured the American imagination. They feed the narrative of the American Dream—that from humble beginnings, a scrappy, hardworking person can become prosperous, and afford opportunities his or her parents did not have. Through booms and recessions, people have bought into this myth .

The problem is: The American Dream lives and dies at the local level. Stanford* economist Raj Chetty has shown that conditions in our neighborhoods are really what shape our ability to escape poverty and determine if we will fare better than our parents. A new analysis by the […]

Income inequality and economic mobility in D.C.

Income quintile and Gini score for major cities in top metro areas

In recent years, researchers have become more interested in the ways that an individual’s environment shapes their ability to climb the socioeconomic ladder. In a famous recent study , Stanford economist Raj Chetty and his coauthors looked at upward mobility, as measured by the proportion of children who went on to make more money than their parents later in life. He found that the overall D.C. commuting zone [1] had high rates of upward mobility, ranking 13 th in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas in upward mobility—and third in the probability that a child born in the poorest […]

Education and social mobility

The role of education in promoting social mobility is a matter of intense contemporary sociological and political debate. In modern societies, education – specifically the acquisition of higher educational qualifications – has become an increasingly important factor in determining which jobs people enter and their social class position. Government policy and educational institutions’ admission and certification practices can have a significant impact on social inequalities.

So what do we know, and what can the government learn, about what policies and practices can make a difference? First, funding. Evidence from international cross-sections (Ichino et al. 2009) and across US states (Mayer […]