When comparing many countries, not just the rich but also across the entire globe, researchers have consistently found that the higher the level of income inequality about a generation ago, the more strongly children’s adult prospects are tied to their family backgrounds. This relationship between higher inequality and lower social mobility has become known as The Great Gatsby Curve.
Economic theory, statistical measurement, and public policy have all been most constructively informed by this picture when they explore
- What kind of inequality matters?
- What kind of social mobility do we care about?
- Which cross-country comparisons are most judicious, from which policy learning is best informed?
Watch this interview produced by the Institute for New Economic Thinking ,who gave me the opportunity to explain what the Great Gatsby is, and highlight how it offers a constructive framework for deeper conversations about the relationship between inequality and social mobility.