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Archive for December, 2011

Meritocratic Opportunity: On the Decline

December 1st, 2011 3 comments

By every measure I’ve been able to find, income mobility in America is much lower than in other prosperous (especially northern European) countries. (Follow Related Posts links below for details.)

But I’ve had trouble tracking down changes in those measures. Here’s one:

I’m finding it difficult to parse the date axis at the bottom (and I haven’t had time to go back to the original paper), but it looks to me like the blue line is generally flat until 1985, when it starts declining.

This measure is necessarily plagued by the life-cycle changes problem that these type of studies are heir to, but it’s another data point in the big picture. I’d love to see a similar chart of intergenerational mobility over time — or even better, multiple such charts for different countries/regions.

Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Blog Archive | Income Mobility Can’t Explain Away Evidence of Increased Inequality.