Does the neighborhood you grow up in determine how far you move up the economic ladder?
A new online data tool being made public Monday finds a strong correlation between where people are raised and their chances of achieving the American dream.
Harvard University economist Raj Chetty has been working with a team of researchers on this tool — the first of its kind because it marries U.S. Census Bureau data with data from the Internal Revenue Service.
We construct a publicly available atlas of children’s outcomes in adulthood by Census tract using anonymized longitudinal data covering nearly the entire U.S. population. For each tract, we estimate children’s earnings distributions, incarceration rates, and other outcomes in adulthood by parental income, race, and gender.
Lack of opportunity is a huge source of economic and social dissatisfaction. Income and wealth inequality aren’t pleasant, and many people want some redistribution, but most seem to accept that luck, drive and natural advantages inevitably create some degree of inequality. But when people feel like they don’t have a chance to move up in the world even if they try hard and do all the right things, that’s when they break out the rakes and pitchforks and storm the castle.
At a time of growing stress on democracy around the world, Americans generally agree on democratic ideals and values that are important for the United States. But for the most part, they see the country falling well short in living up to these …
We study the sources of racial and ethnic disparities in income using de-identiﬁed longitudinal data covering nearly the entire U.S. population from 1989-2015. We document three sets of results. First, the intergenerational persistence of disparities …
We present results from a new data set, the Statistics of Income Mobility Panel, that has been assembled from tax and other administrative sources to provide evidence on economic mobility and persistence in the United States. This data set allows us …
PAUL RYAN, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, recently tweeted that, “[i]n our country, the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life. This is what makes America so great.” The idea that every American newborn has an equal opportunity to enjoy the good life is false. But it isn’t just the Speaker who radically underestimates the importance of the lottery of birth—his is a popular view country-wide.
“The American Dream is back.” President Trump made that claim in a speech in January.
They are ringing words, but what do they mean? Language is important, but it can be slippery. Consider that the phrase, the American Dream, has changed radically through the years.
Mr. Trump and Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, have suggested it involves owning a beautiful home and a roaring business, but it wasn’t always so.
Cecilia Mo thought she knew all about growing up poor when she began teaching at Thomas Jefferson senior high school in south Los Angeles. As a child, she remembered standing in line, holding a free lunch ticket. But it turned out that Mo could still be shocked by poverty and violence – especially after a 13-year-old student called her in obvious panic. He had just seen his cousin get shot in his front yard.
Is the American dream on life support? That’s the perennial claim of “declinists,” who are convinced that the American spirit of opportunity is at death’s door. That claim was recently bolstered by research from a team of top economists, who found that half of today’s 30-year-olds are worse off than their parents were at the same age. A closer look at that study, however, reveals that opportunity is alive and well.