Where is the land of opportunity? Intergenerational mobility in the US
Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez 04 February 2014
The US is supposed to be the land of opportunity. This column presents evidence that is better thought of as the ‘lands of opportunity’. Economic mobility varies dramatically across US cities. Some have upward-income mobility comparable to the most mobile countries in the world. Others have rates below that of any developed country. These geographical differences are correlated with five factors: segregation, income inequality, local school quality, social capital, and family structure.
The US is often hailed as the land of opportunity, a society in which a child's chances of success depend little on her family background. Is this reputation warranted? An extensive empirical literature on intergenerational mobility, reviewed by Solon (1999), Grawe and Mulligan (2002), and Black and Devereux (2011), has compared mobility across countries and have found that relative mobility is lower in the US than in other developed countries. In new research (Chetty et al.
Poverty and income inequality
US, Intergenerational Mobility, segregation
Segregation and the quality of government
Alberto Alesina, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya 15 September 2008
Research on a large new dataset suggests that regional segregation within a country is associated with worse government – even after controlling for reverse causality.
Racial, ethnic, and religious tensions are common around the world. Some states collapse under their weight; in less extreme cases, states’ functions are negatively affected. Economists have recognised the importance of this factor in explaining poor economic policymaking, low quality of government, and delays in development. For instance, a widely accepted explanation of Sub Saharan states’ failures is the linguistic and ethnic fragmentation of many countries of this region (Easterly and Levine 1997).
Politics and economics
development, segregation, ethnic fractionalisation
Guess who’s your co-author today? Economic models of sorting and segregation
Antonio Cabrales, Yves Zenou 26 March 2008
Producing research is an increasingly collaborative and social effort. This column summarises a model of production that may explain how academic researchers find co-authors – and segregate amongst themselves.
One of the (many) reasons why the Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling became famous was his analysis of sorting and segregation. He showed that differences in tastes about the kinds of people with whom one wanted to interact would lead to intensely segregated social environments. This would be true even if most people were actually rather (although not fully) tolerant about the diversity they would accept in their social medium.
Figure 1. Segregation
academic research, segregation, scientific collaborations, economic model