This is Lecture 7 of the course ECON 85600, “Inequality, Economic Opportunity, and Public Policy,” that my class and I are now conducting online. You are welcome to participate, and can review all the course materials at https://milescorak.com/equality-of-opportunity/teaching/ .
Warning: this is likely to interest social scientists in sociology, economics, or other fields, interested in developing a specialized knowledge of the subject!
This lecture summarizes research on how we should think about and interpret changes in intergenerational income mobility over time, and across space.
The empirical literature is not clear on the degree to which, or even whether, intergenational income mobility has changed in the United States. The focus in this presentation is to interpret these conflicting findings with the aid of theory, which leads us to appreciate not only that multiple causes may be at work, but also that the dynamics of mobility may have very long lags and follow non monotonic patterns in adjusting to a new steady state.
The full reading list and access to other papers are on the page devoted to this lecture at https://milescorak.com/equality-of-opportunity/teaching/lecture-7/
View this lecture in conjunction with your reading and of the student presentation of the longer run impacts of the Moving to Opportunity experiment in:
Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and Lawrence F. Katz (2016). “The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment.” American Economic Review. 106 (4): 855-902.
This paper marks an important turning point in our readings of the empirical literature, as we move from description to causal analysis using clearly articulated identification strategies.
Here is the student presentation, which you should download and review as a complement to your readings : https://milescorak.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/student-presentation-moving-to-opportunity.pdf
Be certain to leave a comment, question, or concern in the “What do you think?” box at the very bottom of this post. Frame your feedback in a way that is of benefit to the learning environment for all students, and don’t hesitate to raise a question of clarification if you don’t understand an issue