Economic and Social Mobility
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In an essay for Merion West, Archbridge President and CEO Gonzalo Schwarz argues that our public policy discourse should be careful not to intertwine the distinct concepts of poverty, inequality, and mobility. Schwarz notes that solutions to address these issues don’t necessarily overlap, and that sometimes policies meant to address one issue can negatively affect another.
In essay for Quillette Magazine, Archbridge Director of Programs Ben Wilterdink discusses “Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective,” the most recent study from the Equality of Opportunity Project and some of the earliest reactions to the study. Wilterdink highlights several reasons to be skeptical of the most prominent commentary following the study’s release and argues that the best way to improve the status quo is through a mutually respectful dialogue.
Raj Chetty and his team of economists at the Equality of Opportunity Project have released a new report on race and economic mobility, with findings that have everyone talking. Director of Programs Ben Wilterdink discusses its key findings and some reactions from around the web in a post on Medium.
Is the American Dream dead for young Americans? Dr. Edward Timmons of Saint Francis University and coauthor of Barriers to Mobility, says there are good arguments that it may not be as bleak as it seems. Economists agree, however, that many poor children remain poor in adulthood. Timmons examines the growth of occupational licensing as a possible cause.
Ben Wilterdink, Director of Outreach and Policy Research, reviews Dream Hoarders by Richard V. Reeves, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. By focusing on relative economic mobility, Reeves determines that the advantages upper middle class parents give their children are disadvantaging other children. Wilterdink asserts that Reeves’s focus is misplaced: Public policy should aim to increase absolute economic mobility.
President and CEO Gonzalo Schwarz pens an op-ed for The Hill, arguing that the current focus across the world on inequality is misguided. To improve lives, we must instead try to improve economic mobility. Recent survey results demonstrate that people find it more important to have a fair shot at improving their economic standing than reducing inequality.
Archbridge President and CEO Gonzalo Schwarz writes for Donors Trust’s regular series on how to be more strategic in charitable giving. Politicians—and therefore public policy—are increasingly focused on inequality, when they should be working to increase opportunity for all. But natural barriers to economic mobility cannot be resolved with one-size-fits-all government policies. The institutions of civil society must step in to address the personal and cultural barriers to flourishing.
So-called “declinists” argue that it’s harder to climb up the income ladder than it used to be. Archbridge Honorary Advisor Dr. Scott Winship reexamines the evidence, finding that the decline in the size of families has allowed Americans to be better off than their parents with less income. In National Review, Winship summarizes his research and its implications.
Economic mobility has become a leading policy concern across the political spectrum in America. But “opportunity” and “mobility” are elusive concepts. Dr. Scott Winship provides an overview of the different ways of measuring both relative and absolute mobility (i.e., movement in ranks and movement in dollars). He distinguishes between mobility indicators that assess movement in different parts of the parental and child income distributions, as well as summary measures that describe how mobility does or does not reduce childhood inequalities.
The Archbridge Institute is a non-partisan, independent, 501(c)(3) public policy think tank. Our mission is to lift barriers to human flourishing.
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