Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility

Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility. National Bureau of Economic Research. Raj Chetty et al. January 27, 2014.

The report presents new evidence on trends in intergenerational mobility in the U.S. using administrative earnings records. It finds that percentile rank-based measures of intergenerational mobility have remained extremely stable for the 1971-1993 birth cohorts. For children born between 1971 and 1986, the report measures intergenerational mobility based on the correlation between parent and child income percentile ranks. Based on research, it finds that children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution, relative to their parents, as children born in the 1970s. However, because inequality has risen, the consequences of the “birth lottery” – the parents to whom a child is born – are larger today than in the past. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 964 KB].

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