Intergenerational Mobility in the US: The Role of Accessible Education

Date and Location

Date: 16/8
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Frederiksholms Kanal 30, Fæstningens Materialgård 1220 København K

In The Constant Flux (1992) Erikson and Goldthorpe showed that countries with less income inequality had more class mobility than countries with more inequality. The twenty-year surge of income inequality since (Piketty et al. (2013)) suggests that mobility might slow. Has increased income inequality increased inequality in access to higher classes? In this paper we address descriptively how access to higher and lower classes has developed over birth cohorts born in the USA between 1920 and 1980. We demonstrate that access to higher classes by class origin has developed inversely u-shaped, such that for lower classes there is increased access to the service class for cohorts born from 1920 to 1955. Thereafter access decreased. We further demonstrate that controlling for having a college degree there does not seems to be any change at all across cohorts. Hence all change happens between class members with different levels of education and access to education explains all change in class mobility across cohorts.