Full Version: Most Americans, especially liberals, underestimate social mobility
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The Wall Street Journal summarized an interesting research article. Here's some interesting parts from their article:

Quote:Americans’ Pessimism About Social Mobility Outruns the Facts

Every class, but especially educated liberals, underestimates the possibility of economic advancement

Prof. Cheng and Fangqi Wen, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, polled the attitudes of 3,077 American adults. Each participant was asked to consider the prospects of a child whose family’s income was in a specific percentile, compared to all American families. A computer spat out a randomly generated income rank, and the participant would estimate how much a child growing up in such a family would earn as a 40-year-old. The next step was to compare subjects’ perceptions to what up-to-date tax data tell us about the actual earnings of someone from such a family.

This comparison revealed a disconnect: Americans underestimate the future earnings of children from poor families and overestimate the future earnings of children from middle and upper class families. “The reality is that there is indeed a [mobility] gap, by international standards. But what people have in their mind is a larger gap, in terms of how rich and poor kids will do. They’re pessimistic about equality of opportunity,” said Prof. Cheng. To be precise, “the American public perceives the gap in economic outcomes between children from rich and poor families to be twice as large as it actually is.”

The researchers also discovered some surprising demographic divides. College-educated adults estimated a larger opportunity gap than those without a degree. Liberals were more pessimistic than conservatives, younger people more pessimistic than those over 30, and those earning between $30,000 and $100,000 a year more pessimistic than everyone else. In other words, middle-class, educated Americans see less reason for hope about social mobility than the rest of the population.


Whatever the reason, if Americans no longer believe that children who start near the bottom can make it to the top—or even to the middle—a good first step is to reconcile our attitudes with the data. There is more upward mobility in America than most of us think, but unless we want to start calling it the Canadian dream, there’s still a long way to go.
Not only that, people moving families to less expensive areas can alter their finances a lot.

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(10-02-2019 02:17 PM)Jjoey52 Wrote: [ -> ]Not only that, people moving families to less expensive areas can alter their finances a lot.

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That usually doesn't change income. The study is about changes in social mobility as defined by the income they earn.

I know that income and wealth are different things, but wealth is more difficult to measure so most economists foolishly satisfy themselves with only running tests on income.
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