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
Getting a Job Mark Granovetter

Getting a Job

Author: Mark Granovetter
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date: 03/1995
Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States Solon, Gary

Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States

Author: Solon, Gary
Publisher: American Economic Review
Date: 06/1992
Economic Action and Social Structure Granovetter, Mark S.

Economic Action and Social Structure

Author: Granovetter, Mark S.
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 03/1985
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

mobility - CPI Affiliates

Donald J. Treiman's picture Donald J. Treiman Distinguished Professor of Sociology Emeritus; Research Professor, UCLA Faculty Associate, California Center for Population Research
University of California , Los Angeles
Fiona Devine's picture Fiona Devine Head of Alliance Manchester Business School; Professor of Sociology
The University of Manchester
Hans-Peter Blossfeld Professor of Sociology
Bamberg University
Henryk Domanski's picture Henryk Domanski Professor, Director, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology
Polish Academy of Sciences

Pages

Mobility - Other Research

Title Author Media
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:
Welfare Regimes, Family-Supportive Policies, and Women’s Employment along the Life-Course Stier, Haya Stier, Noah Lewin-Epstein and Michael...

Welfare Regimes, Family-Supportive Policies, and Women’s Employment along the Life-Course

Author: Stier, Haya Stier, Noah Lewin-Epstein and Michael...
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date:
The Making of the New English Working Class E.P. Thompson

The Making of the New English Working Class

Author: E.P. Thompson
Publisher: Vintage Books
Date:
Cohabitation and the Declining Marriage Premium for Men Philip N. Cohen

Cohabitation and the Declining Marriage Premium for Men

Author: Philip N. Cohen
Publisher: Work and Occupations
Date:
The American Occupational Structure Peter M. Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan, with the...

The American Occupational Structure

Author: Peter M. Blau and Otis Dudley Duncan, with the...
Publisher: Free Press
Date:

The objective of this book is to present a systematic analysis of the American occupational structure, and, thus, of the major foundation of the stratification system in this society. Processes of social mobility from one generation to the next and from career beginnings to occupational destinations are considered to reflect the dynamics of the occupational structure. By analyzing the patterns of these occupational movements, the conditions that affect them, and some of their consequences, one attempts to explain part of the dynamics of the stratification system in the United States. The inquiry is based on a considerable amount of empirical data collected from a representative sample of over 20,000 American men between the ages of 20 and 64. The survey of "Occupational Changes in a Generation" was carried out as an adjunct to the monthly "Current Population Survey" of the Bureau of the Census. The analysis of the data collected in the survey constitutes the bulk of the material reported in the present book, although occasionally other sources are drawn on as well. As the comparative data from a variety of societies needed for refining the theory of stratification are not available in this study, it has been supplemented with data from mobility surveys of other countries.

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