Thursday, July 25th, 2013
In a post for CitizenshipFirst, Robert Pondiscio outlines the results of a nationwide study that analyzed the factors contributing to income mobility in the United States. In addition to geographic regions having vastly different rates of income mobility, the study found that communities that were more civically engaged were more likely to support income mobility.
The study relied on millions of earnings records from citizens across the country and is the first to compare upward mobility across metropolitan areas. The study was conducted by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, and Emmanuel Saez. According to David Leonhardt of the New York Times, the study helps “provide some of the most powerful evidence so far about the factors that seem to drive people’s chances of rising beyond the station of their birth, including education, family structure and the economic layout of metropolitan areas.”
According to the data, membership in religious and community groups are most tied to an increase in income mobility. The results of the study appear to corroborate Robert Putnam’s famous findings in Bowling Alone, which “argued that social connections play an important role in a community’s success,” according to Leonhardt.
You can read the full study here.