Monday, February 15, 2010

Study Shows Less Social Mobility In U.S.

Is America still the land of opportunity? The New York Times' Economix blog featured a report by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development on intergenerational mobility, defined as the “relationship between the socioeconomic status of parents and the status their children will attain as adults.”

Those societies in which children's and parents' socioeconomic status are closely linked are defined as less mobile. The U.S. is among those industrialized countries, according to the following chart showing the relation between the earnings of sons and fathers (the study is clearly male-centric). Higher bars indicate strong links and less mobility:

The report recommends boosting social mobility by "encouraging early childhood education; avoiding the placement of students on educational 'tracks' too early; increasing the social mix of students within schools; and more generous student loan and grant programs."

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