Trends in Intergenerational Mobility: Declining Opportunity Since 1980

December 1st, 2011

Ask and ye shall receive. Roger Chittum sent me this:

Estimated correlations between sons’ and parents’ incomes, 1950-2000

Higher correlations, of course, mean lower mobility.

Why do all these inflection points land at 1980 (or just before)?

While you’re there, don’t miss this incredible interactive graphic:

Mobility decreasing in recent decades | State of Working America.

  1. Clonal Antibody
    December 1st, 2011 at 22:56 | #1

    It was Roger Chilton who sent you the link on intergenerational mobility. I sent you the links on the Boltzmann Gibbs and the Pareto distributions. Roger’s links are quite educational as well.

    Along the same thinking is – “Born on Third Base: The Sources of Wealth of the 1997 Forbes 400”

    The data, then, do not support the assumption that the United States is a true meritocracy where the most able rise to their rightful positions. Nor do they defend the contention that the United States is structured so that authentic equality of opportunity prevails. Inheritances undermine the achievement-reward equation.

    In 1995, it took only $340 million to break into to the Forbes 400. In 1996, the hurdle was raised to $400 million. By 1997, it was $475 million. The net worth of the wealthiest of the wealthy is increasing much faster than that of the rest of us.

    In 2010, Th bottom of the Forbes 400 was at $1.05B an increase from 1995 of 208 %. The CPI during the same time period only increased by 42%

  2. December 2nd, 2011 at 09:53 | #2

    Why do all these inflection points land at 1980 (or just before)?

    Actually some are just after, but ca. 1980 is the inflection region for just about everything.

    From WW II to ca. ’80 we had Keynesian policies about 75% of the time, Since, about 25%, and that only by accident.

    IMHO, anti-Keynesian – and specifically supply-side – policies have been the ruin of us all. Well, not all – there is that 1% . . .


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