How should we measure Americansâ€™ perceptions of socio-economic mobility?
Lawton K. Swanâˆ— John R. Chambersâ€ Martin Heesackerâˆ— Sondre S. Neroâ€¡
AbstractSeveral scholars have suggested that Americansâ€™ (distorted) beliefs about the rate of upward social mobility in the United States may affect political judgment and decision-making outcomes. In this article, we consider the psychometric properties of two different questionnaire items that researchers have used to measure these subjective perceptions. Namely, we report the results of a new set of experiments (N = 2,167 U.S. MTurkers) in which we compared the question wording employed by Chambers, Swan and Heesacker (2015) with the question […]
Author, The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America Frank Buckley is a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he has taught since 1989. Previously he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and he has also taught at McGill Law School, the Sorbonne, and Sciences Po in Paris. He received his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.M. from Harvard University. He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and the author of several books, including The Once and Future King: The Rise of […]
Home sale. (photo: AP)
No savings, investments or home equity. This economic dystopia looms for minority families, and so does a choice: Do we want America to be more like Brazil or Canada? hat would U.S. society be like if a majority of families had no wealth – no savings, no home equity, no investments of any kind?
That is exactly where the country is headed if we continue on our current path toward economic dystopia for black and Latino families.
While we celebrate a modest reduction in poverty rates and an encouraging uptick in median income , as disclosed […]
No savings, investments or home equity. This economic dystopia looms for minority families, and so does a choice: Do we want America to be more like Brazil or Canada?
What would U.S. society be like if a majority of families had no wealth – no savings, no home equity, no investments of any kind?
That is exactly where the country is headed if we continue on our current path toward economic dystopia for black and Latino families.While we celebrate a modest reduction in poverty rates and an encouraging uptick in median income , as disclosed in this week’s Census report, […]
Although Yale’s campus now is familiar to me, moving in still is disorienting. Surrounded by well-kept lawns and high-ceilinged dining halls, Longchamp bags and Apple laptops, I’m constantly reminded of the separation between this economic privilege and the home I’ve left behind. For many low-income students like me, returning to Yale presents the difficult navigation of class cues and wealth barriers.
Part of this is the institution. Yale professors often assume that students can afford expensive materials or small extras — it’s almost a cliché at this point, but $10 for you is not the same for me. The student […]
A few years ago, hundreds of college administrators received a survey in the mail. It was designed to figure out what they believed it takes to succeed in college.
The survey listed 12 skills that colleges generally expect students to develop, but the administrators were asked to pick the five most important.
You can do the same exercise below:What the researchers didn’t tell the administrators is that half of these expectations represented independent norms, and the other half represented interdependent norms.And these administrators had a clear bias. (See how your biases compare by filling out the quiz above.)They had a bias […]
We estimated rates of “absolute income mobility”—the fraction of children who earn more than their parents—by combining data from U.S. Census and Current Population Survey cross sections with panel data from de-identified tax records. We found that rates of absolute mobility have fallen from approximately 90% for children born in 1940 to 50% for children born in the 1980s. Increasing GDP growth rates alone cannot restore absolute mobility to the rates experienced by children born in the 1940s. However, distributing current GDP growth more equally across income groups as in the 1940 birth cohort would reverse more than […]
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 […]
A new analysis takes the focus off the top 1 percent and ignores deeper structural problems. It’s fun to pick on the professional class. Obsessed with their credentials and careers, helicopter-parenting their children until they’re admitted into the “best” colleges, professionals make easy targets. Even the professional class likes to eye-roll at its own pretensions.
But does the professional class constitute a distinct economic and political problem?
Richard Reeves, the co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, gives a strong affirmative answer in his new book Dream Hoarders . Indeed, he argues professionals are the central […]
As long as people have different interests and abilities, in a free society, there will be some income inequality. But government-imposed barriers can make it more pronounced by placing unnecessary obstacles in front of people trying to get ahead.
Economists across the spectrum are concerned about this problem. And there is some agreement about how to help fix it.
In his book “Coming Apart,” Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute shows an increasing divergence between how the middle and upper classes live. In 1960, regardless of a woman’s income level, many fewer children were born out of wedlock, attendance at […]