More on the Recent Past and Near Future of Economic Mobility
|Written by Shawn Fremstad and John Schmitt|
|Friday, 02 March 2012 10:00|
In a post yesterday, we noted that the growing disparity in college completion provides support for the view that increasing inequality has reduced economic mobility. Bhashkar Mazumder, a senior economist at the Chicago Federal Reserve, makes a similar point in a new article, Is Intergenerational Economic Mobility Lower Now than in the Past?, published as a Chicago Fed Letter. Here’s Mazumder’s summary of the trend:
And here’s his prediction for mobility going forward:
That said, reducing educational disparities is only part of the solution to increasing mobility, and it’s a long-term solution at that. Our biggest problem right now is that we’ve been producing too many poorly compensated jobs and too few good ones. Increasing compensation for workers in these jobs—through policy reforms like increasing the minimum wage, enforcing and strengthening labor laws, and making paid sick leave a basic right—would increase mobility.