Tag Archives: marriage

It’s The Inequality, Stupid

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (IMAGE: Veni, Flickr).

With every week seemingly bringing fresh embarrassment, Ben Eltham looks at the core issue that is really plaguing the Turnbull Government.

It’s been a winter of discontent for the government.

The Prime Minister was in the middle of a week-long tour through Western Australia , a crucial state for the Coalition that contains many seats it will need to hold at the next election. But try as he might to talk about the government’s achievements, every question from the media seems to revolve upon Liberal disunity.And that was before the leaked tape dropped of his conversation with Donald Trump about the […]

Struggling Americans Once Sought Greener Pastures—Now They’re Stuck

WEST BRANCH, Mich.—When she graduated from high school, Taylor Tibbetts was a bright star in this small Northern Michigan town. She won an $18,000-a-year swimming scholarship to Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., and departed for her freshman year with high hopes.

Once on campus, however, she felt overwhelmed by her courses and scared and isolated among students from all over the country with different values. After just a week, her mother reluctantly agreed to bring her home.

Three years later, sitting on a vinyl booth at her family’s pizzeria in West Branch where she now works, Ms. Tibbetts, 21, says she […]

A Tale of Two Americas: The High Costs of Being Poor in a Rich Land


Despite the long-held belief that high levels of inequality in the US signal future opportunity, a number of studies suggest that this is no longer the reality. This column examines trends in inequality from the perspective of well-being and focuses on non-economic aspects of welfare, including hope. The results reveal stark differences across people, races, and places in the US. Poor minorities – and blacks in particular – are much more hopeful than poor whites, while urban places are more hopeful than are rural ones, as are places with higher levels of diversity.

The US is as divided as […]

This is Not Your Parents’ Economy

Illustration: Jonathan Bartlett This is Not Your Parents’ Economy

Inequality is putting the American Dream in peril.

By Rebecca Beyer M elissa Agnew lives in Charlotte, N.C., a city that ranks high on affordability scales. It’s said to be one of the most desirable places to purchase a home, and a top destination for job-seeking college graduates and newlyweds.But Agnew doesn’t own a home or have a college degree. She went through a painful divorce several years ago, and, even though she was working at the time, the city was anything but affordable for her when she suddenly became […]

Meet Camille Busette, new director of the Race, Place, and Economic Mobility Initiative

Camille Busette, Senior Fellow, Director of Place, Race, and Economic Mobility

Camille Busette I’m Camille Busette , I’m a senior fellow in Governance Studies and I head up the new Race, Place, and Economic Mobility initiative here at Brookings.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in a variety of places actually, which I think has made me very much who I am. I was born in Los Angeles. I grew up in New York City, and then toward the end of high school my family moved to Sacramento, California where I finished up high school; and then I went on to University of California, Berkeley for […]

Saving Horatio Alger: The Data Behind the Words (and the Lego Bricks)


Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read our new Brookings Essay, Saving Horatio Alger . If not, we bet you’ve found three minutes to check out our new video, using Lego bricks to illustrate America’s mobility challenge: But readers of Social Mobility Memos want something more: you want to know about the data. Where is it from? How do we slice it? Making the Matrices

In both the video and the essay, we’ve created a series of ‘mobility matrices’ showing how income status in one generation influences income status in the next. We used a dataset constructed from the […]

Female domestic workers usually come from India’s least-developed regions, such as Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam. Their journeys are cross-country and transnational, as they seek work as servants in affluent homes.

In the decade after liberalisation, there was a nearly 120 percent rise in the number of domestic workers in India from 7.4 lakh in 1991 to 16.2 lakh workers by 2001, says author Tripti Lahiri, quoting census data in her recently released book, Maid In India . Women constitute over two-thirds of the workforce in this unorganised sector, which also includes chauffeurs and security guards, according to Lahiri’s analysis.

Female domestic workers usually come from India’s least-developed regions, such as Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Assam. Their journeys are cross-country and transnational, as they seek work as servants in affluent homes.

They […]

The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares

Manhattan is very bad for income mobility for children in poor families. It is better than only about 7 percent of counties.

Location matters – enormously. If you’re poor and live in the New York area, it’s better to be in Putnam County than in Manhattan or the Bronx. Not only that, the younger you are when you move to Putnam, the better you will do on average. Children who move at earlier ages are less likely to become single parents, more likely to go to college and more likely to earn more.

Every year a poor child spends in […]

New Data on Wealth Mobility and Their Impact on Models of Inequality

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Using data on families’ wealth over time, we calculate changes in relative wealth mobility; that is, how likely families are to move up or down the wealth distribution, relative to one another. We find families have become less likely to change their position in the wealth distribution over time, and those that do move are less likely to go very far. We also look at the savings behaviors that are associated with more mobile families and find that families that make large movements through the wealth distribution appear to be more likely to own some form of a risky […]

Economic Mobility of Black and White Families

Executive Summary and Chapter

The dream that one can rise up from humble beginnings and achieve a comfortable middle-class living, if not attain great wealth, transcends racial lines. But is this a reality for black and white families alike?
This report, by Julia Isaacs of The Brookings Institution, reviews overall income trends based on Census Bureau data and provides an intergenerational analysis based on a longitudinal data set that allows a direct match of the family income of parents in the late 1960s to their children’s family income in the late 1990s to early 2000s. 1 In brief, […]