Good News on Income Mobility
I’ve been meaning to write about income mobility for a while, and this new piece by one of my favorite economists in town, the Brookings Institution’s Scott Winship, prompts me to finally get around to it. What better way to start the new year than by learning that the American dream still lives on?
In his piece, Winship looks at a recent claim by President Obama that income mobility in the U.S. has declined, which ignores recent studies on absolute and relative income mobility. For one thing, most children are living better lives than their parents did, according to a 2008 PewEconomic Mobility Project study showing that two-thirds of 40-year-old Americans are in households with larger incomes than their parents had at the same age. That remains true even after controlling for the rising cost of living. If anything, this finding understates the progress we have made. Household size has declined in recent decades, meaning that incomes are now spent on fewer family members, leaving individuals better off.
Read the full article at nationalreview.com.
- Economic Mobility Project