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Chetty, Raj, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren, Robert Manduca, and Jimmy Narang, "The fading American dream: Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940," Science, 356(6336), 2017, pp. 398-406.
Raj Chetty and his colleagues use a myriad of innovative data techniques to investigate intergenerational mobility. They demonstrate that absolute mobility has been steadily falling since the 1940s, suggesting the “American Dream” is harder to achieve than ever before.
Chetty, Raj, John Friedman, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie Jones, and Sonya Porter, "The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility," National Bureau of Economic Research, No. w25147, 2018, pp. 1-94.
This paper, written by Raj Chetty and his colleagues, presents evidence that neighborhoods determine outcomes like a child’s expected earnings in adulthood and the probability that he will be incarcerated later in life.
Chetty, Raj, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie Jones, and Sonya Porter, "Race and economic opportunity in the United States: An intergenerational perspective," National Bureau of Economic Research, No. w24441, 2018, pp. 1-104.
This paper, written by Raj Chetty and his colleagues, examines the intergenerational black-white income gap. This gap is slimmest when children grow up in areas with low poverty rates, low racial bias among whites, and high father presence among blacks.
Chetty, Raj, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, and Emmanuel Saez, "Where is the land of opportunity? The geography of intergenerational mobility in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129(4), 2014, pp. 1553-1623.
In this paper, Raj Chetty and his colleagues explore how economic mobility varies across the cities and counties in the United States. They find that high mobility is correlated with strong social capital and low residential segregation, among other factors.
Chetty, Raj and Nathaniel Hendren, “The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility II: County-Level Estimates,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 133(3), 2018, pp. 1163-1228.
Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren examine the impact that neighborhoods have on intergenerational mobility, at the county level. Children in poor families have better outcomes when they grow up in counties with less income inequality, less concentrated poverty, higher quality schools, more two-parent families, and less crime.
Corak, Miles, “Income inequality, equality of opportunity, and intergenerational mobility,” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27(3), 2013, pp. 79-102.
In his ambitious paper, Miles Corak takes a macro and international level approach to studying intergenerational mobility. He finds that high levels of income inequality often precede low rates of intergenerational mobility. He compares and contrasts mobility in the US to other countries.
Sharkey, Patrick, “Neighborhoods and the Black-White Mobility Gap,” Economic Mobility Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, 2009, pp. 1-44.
This paper outlines how being raised in a neighborhood in poverty has a huge impact on downward economic mobility for children’s economic future. Economic mobility thus has a geographic and spatial component that must be considered along with public policies aimed at individual opportunities.
Blumenberg, Evelyn, and Gregory Pierce, "A driving factor in mobility? Transportation's role in connecting subsidized housing and employment outcomes in the moving to opportunity (MTO) program," Journal of the American Planning Association, 80(1), 2014, p
Evelyn Blumenberg and Gregory Pierce evaluate the role that transportation played in the effectiveness of the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) initiative. They find that access to an automobile promoted the likelihood of gaining employment, and improved access to public transportation promoted the maintaining of employment.
Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., Grace, J. B., & Wei, Y. D. (2016). Does urban sprawl hold down upward mobility?. Landscape and Urban Planning, 148, 80-88.
This paper finds evidence that the built environment, especially sprawling development, can significantly impact economic mobility. These researchers find that sprawl is negatively related to upward mobility.
Sandoval, J. S. Onésimo, Robert Cervero, and John Landis, "The transition from welfare-to-work: How cars and human capital facilitate employment for welfare recipients," Applied Geography, 31(1), 2011, pp. 352-362.
In this paper, J.S. Sandoval and colleagues examine how transportation influences employment and other labor related variables. They find that car ownership significantly predicts the likelihood of employment and the exiting of government assistance programs.
Tyndall, Justin, "Waiting for the R train: Public transportation and employment," Urban Studies, 54(2), 2017, pp. 520-537.
In his paper, Justin Tyndall demonstrates that public transportation access has a causal impact on unemployment rates for those who are dependent on public transit.