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
From Class to Culture Michael Hechter

From Class to Culture

Author: Michael Hechter
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date:
Offering a Job: Meritocracy and Social Networks Petersen, Trond, Ishak Saporta, and Marc-David L...

Offering a Job: Meritocracy and Social Networks

Author: Petersen, Trond, Ishak Saporta, and Marc-David L...
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date:
Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction Pierre Bourdieu

Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction

Author: Pierre Bourdieu
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date:

According to Bourdieu, cultural reproduction is the social process through which culture is reproduced across generations, especially through the socializing influence of major institutions. Bourdieu applied the concept in particular to the ways in which social institutions such as schools are used to pass along cultural ideas that underlie and support the privileged position of the dominant or upper class.

Cultural reproduction is part of a larger process of social reproduction through which entire societies and their cultural, structural, and ecological characteristics are reproduced through a process that invariably involves a certain amount of social change. From a Marxist perspective, social reproduction is primarily economic in scope. In a broader sense, however, social reproduction is much more than this, from the shape of religious institutions to language and varieties of music and other cultural products.

Compensation Inequality Brooks Pierce

Compensation Inequality

Author: Brooks Pierce
Publisher: Quarterly Journal of Economic
Date:
Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers Jacobson, Louis S., Robert J. Lalonde and Daniel...

Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers

Author: Jacobson, Louis S., Robert J. Lalonde and Daniel...
Publisher: American Economic Review
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 Capitalist World-Economy Wallerstein, Immanuel

The Capitalist World-Economy

Author: Wallerstein, Immanuel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date:
Intergenerational Consequences of Family Disruption McLanahan, Sara and Larry Bumpass

Intergenerational Consequences of Family Disruption

Author: McLanahan, Sara and Larry Bumpass
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date:
The Contingent Value of Social Capital Ronald S. Burt

The Contingent Value of Social Capital

Author: Ronald S. Burt
Publisher: Cornell University, Graduate School of Business and Public Administration
Date:

Burt presents argument and evidence for a structural ecology of social capital that describes how the value of social capital to an individual is contingent on the number of people doing the same work. The information and control benefits of bridging the structural holes - or, disconnections between non-redundant contacts in a network - that constitute social capital are especially valuable to managers with few peers. Such managers do not have the guiding frame of reference for behavior provided by numerous competitors, and the work they do does not have the legitimacy provided by numerous people doing the same kind of work. Burt uses network and performance data on a probability sample of senior managers to show how the value of social capital, high on average for the managers, varies as a power function of the number of people doing the same work.

The Theory of the Leisure Class Thorstein Veblen

The Theory of the Leisure Class

Author: Thorstein Veblen
Publisher: Modern Library
Date:
Differences and Changes in Wage Structures

Differences and Changes in Wage Structures

Author:
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date:

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