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
Comparative Social Mobility Revisited: Models of Convergence and Divergence in 16 Countries David B. Grusky , Robert M. Hauser

Comparative Social Mobility Revisited: Models of Convergence and Divergence in 16 Countries

Author: David B. Grusky , Robert M. Hauser
Publisher:
Date: 02/1984
The Strength of Weak Ties Granovetter, Mark S.

The Strength of Weak Ties

Author: Granovetter, Mark S.
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 05/1973
Inequality, Growth, and Investment Robert Barro

Inequality, Growth, and Investment

Author: Robert Barro
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date:
Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive? Korenman, Sanders, and David Neumark

Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?

Author: Korenman, Sanders, and David Neumark
Publisher: Journal of Human Resources
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.

mobility - CPI Affiliates

Jonathan Kelley's picture Jonathan Kelley Director at International Survey Center; Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Nevada, Reno
University of Nevada
Karl Ulrich Mayer's picture Karl Ulrich Mayer Stanley B. Resor Professor Emeritus of Sociology; Professor, Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS); Director Emeritus, Max Planck Institute of Human Development
Yale University
Leo Goodman's picture Leo Goodman Professor of Sociology and Statistics; Member, National Academy of Sciences
University of California, Berkeley
Leslie McCall's picture Leslie McCall Presidential Professor of Sociology and Political Science; Associate Director, Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality; LIS Senior Scholar
City University of New York

Pages

Mobility - Other Research

Title Author Media
Are You Sure You’re Saving Enough for Retirement? Jonathan Skinner

Are You Sure You’re Saving Enough for Retirement?

Author: Jonathan Skinner
Publisher: Journal of Economic Perspectives
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.

Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being Erzo F. P. Luttmer

Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being

Author: Erzo F. P. Luttmer
Publisher:
Date:
Is Inequality Harmful for Growth? Torsten, Persson and Guido Tabellini

Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?

Author: Torsten, Persson and Guido Tabellini
Publisher: American Economic Review
Date:
Race, Kin Networks, and Assistance to Mother-Headed Families Hogan, Dennis P., Ling-Xin Hao, and William L....

Race, Kin Networks, and Assistance to Mother-Headed Families

Author: Hogan, Dennis P., Ling-Xin Hao, and William L....
Publisher: Social Forces
Date:

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