Thursday, January 30, 2014

Working-class children in largely rural states are not getting better paying jobs than their parents

Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Texas have done the best job ensuring that children born to working-class families do better than their parents, while Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi and Virginia have done the worst job, Jim Tankersley reports for The Washington Post.

A Harvard-led study "suggests that any advances in opportunity provided by expanded social programs have been offset by other changes in economic conditions. Increased trade and advanced technology, for instance, have closed off traditional sources of middle-income jobs," Tankersley writes. "The findings also suggest that who your parents are and how much they earn is more consequential for American youths today than ever before. That’s because the difference between the bottom and the top of the economic ladder has grown much more stark, but climbing the ladder hasn’t gotten any easier."

Lawrence F. Katz, a Harvard economist and one of the study's authors, said the paper suggests that “it is not true that mobility itself is getting lower,” Tankersley writes. Katz told him, “What’s really changed is the consequences of it. Because there’s so much inequality, people born near the bottom tend to stay near the bottom, and that’s much more consequential than it was 50 years ago.” (Read more) (Post map) (To view an interactive map click here.)

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