Social Mobility

  • Gary Solon
  • Raj Chetty
  • Florencia Torche

Leaders: Raj Chetty, Gary Solon, Florencia Torche

The purpose of the Social Mobility RG is to develop and exploit new administrative sources for measuring mobility and the effects of policy on mobility out of poverty. This research group is doing so by (a) providing comprehensive analyses of intergenerational mobility based on linked administrative data from U.S. tax returns, W-2s, and other sources, and (b) developing a new infrastructure for monitoring social mobility, dubbed the American Opportunity Study, that is based on linking census and other administrative data. Here’s a sampling of projects:

Small place estimates: The Equal Opportunity Project, led by Raj Chetty, uses tax return data to monitor opportunities for mobility out of poverty. In one of the new lines of analysis coming out of this project, the first round of results at the level of “commuting zones” are being redone at a more detailed level (e.g., census block level), thus allowing for even better inferences about the effects of place.

The American Opportunity Study: This research group is also collaborating with the Census Bureau to develop a new infrastructure for monitoring mobility that treats linked decennial census data as the spine on which other administrative data are hung.

Colleges and rising income inequality: Where do poor children go to attend college? The “Mobility Report Card” will convey the joint distribution of parent and student incomes for every Title IV institution in the United States.

The “absolute mobility” of the poor: What fraction of poor children grow up to earn more than their parents? Have rates of absolute upward mobility changed over time? This project develops a new method of estimating rates of absolute mobility for the 1940-1984 birth cohorts.

Intergenerational elasticities in the U.S.: There remains some debate about the size of intergenerational elasticities in the U.S. A rarely-used sample of 1987 tax data provides new evidence on U.S. elasticities.

Mobility - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Luxury Fever: Why Money Fails to Satisfy in an Era of Excess Robert H Frank

Luxury Fever: Why Money Fails to Satisfy in an Era of Excess

Author: Robert H Frank
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date:
Economic Growth and Income Inequality Kuznets, Simon

Economic Growth and Income Inequality

Author: Kuznets, Simon
Publisher: American Economic Review
Date:
The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990 Dora L. Costa

The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990

Author: Dora L. Costa
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date:
Homophily and Differential Returns: Sex Differences in Network Structure and Access in an Advertising Firm Ibarra, Herminia

Homophily and Differential Returns: Sex Differences in Network Structure and Access in an Advertising Firm

Author: Ibarra, Herminia
Publisher: Administrative Science Quarterly
Date:
Classes Erik Olin Wright

Classes

Author: Erik Olin Wright
Publisher: Verso
Date:

Mobility - CPI Affiliates

Vered Kraus Professor University of Haifa
Walter Korpi Professor Swedish Institute for Social Research
Yossi Shavit Professor Tel Aviv University

Pages

Mobility - Other Research

Title Author Media
The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective Thomas Piketty amd Emmanuel Saez

The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective

Author: Thomas Piketty amd Emmanuel Saez
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date:
False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness Stanley Aronowitz

False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness

Author: Stanley Aronowitz
Publisher: Duke University Press
Date:
The Rise of Intra-Occupational Wage Inequality in the United States, 1983 to 2002 Chang Kim, Hwan and Arthur Sakamoto

The Rise of Intra-Occupational Wage Inequality in the United States, 1983 to 2002

Author: Chang Kim, Hwan and Arthur Sakamoto
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:
Disorder in the Life Course: How Common and Does it Matter? Rindfuss, Ronald, C. Gray Swicegood, and Rachel A...

Disorder in the Life Course: How Common and Does it Matter?

Author: Rindfuss, Ronald, C. Gray Swicegood, and Rachel A...
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There David Brooks

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Author: David Brooks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date:

It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore gray, and went to church. The bohemians were artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the liberated 1960s; the bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980s. But now the bohemian and the bourgeois are all mixed up, as David Brooks explains in this brilliant description of upscale culture in America. It is hard to tell an espresso-sipping professor from a cappuccino-gulping banker. Laugh and sob as you read about the information age economy's new dominant class. Marvel at their attitudes toward morality, sex, work, and lifestyle, and at how the members of this new elite have combined the values of the countercultural sixties with those of the achieving eighties. These are the people who set the tone for society today, for you. They are bourgeois bohemians: Bobos. Are you a Bobo? Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Does your newly renovated kitchen look like an aircraft hangar with plumbing? Did you select your new refrigerator on the grounds that mere freezing isn't cold enough? Would you spend a little more for socially conscious toothpaste -- the kind that doesn't actually kill germs, it just asks them to leave? Do you work for one of those hip, visionary software companies where everybody comes to work in hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a 400-foot wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? Do you think your educational credentials are just as good as those of the shimmering couples on the New York Times weddings page? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are probably a member of today's new upper class. Even if you didn't, you'd still better pay attention, because these Bobos define our age. Their hybrid culture is the atmosphere we breathe. Their status codes govern social life, and their moral codes govern ethics and influence our politics. Bobos in Paradise is a witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age and a penetrating description of how we live now.

Mobility - Multimedia

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