Economic and Social Mobility
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In the second part of our three-part primer on economic mobility in the US, this latest report by Dr. Scott Winship reassesses the cross-national evidence on intergenerational economic mobility, updates previous conclusions by reviewing more recent research and reevaluates the older literature. Dr. Winship challenges the conventional wisdom of upward mobility highlights previously neglected nuances in the literature that complicate the simple conclusion that the fates of American children are more tied to their family circumstances than is true of children in other countries.
Writing in The Hill, Economics Professor and Nobel Laureate James Heckman and Archbridge President and CEO Gonzalo Schwarz, discuss the state of economic mobility research. Dismayed by the omission of previous academic findings in a recent Equality of Opportunity Project study (and its coverage in the media), Heckman and Schwarz highlight the importance of seeking consilience with previous research conclusions.
Gonzalo Schwarz, Archbridge Institute’s president and CEO writes on what proponents of liberty must do and where the public policy discussion can be bettered.
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.
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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