October 23, 2015

CITIES WERE A MISTAKE:

Economist Raj Chetty's Proposals on Inequality Draw Interest on Both Sides of the Political Aisle : Plans for increasing upward mobility appeal to Democrats and Republicans alike in presidential campaign (BOB DAVIS, Oct. 20, 201, WSJ)

In a presidential campaign where candidates from both parties are blaming globalization for a shrinking middle class, a 36-year-old India-born economist has a different explanation: Bad neighborhoods and bad teachers rob poor children of the chance to climb into the middle class.

His solution? Help the children and their families move to better neighborhoods. [...]

Mr. Chetty and the economists he works with tackle problems that seem intractable, and offer hopeful prescriptions. Consider economic inequality--the income spread between rich, middle-class and poor. Mr. Chetty addresses the issue indirectly. He examines income mobility, which he defines as the ability to rise from the lowest 20th percentile of income distribution to the top 80th percentile in one generation. Climbing that ladder is more important than ever, he says, because the distance between the economic classes is greater than in the past

By analyzing tax records of families in 741 geographic districts, he pinpoints hotbeds of opportunity. Poorer children in Salt Lake City, for example, are twice as likely to reach the top fifth in income as those in Atlanta, though personal income in the cities is about the same.

High-mobility metro areas have a combination of greater economic and racial integration, better schools and a smaller fraction of single-parent families than lower-mobility areas. Integration is lagging in Atlanta, he said. "The strongest predictors of upward mobility are measures of family structure," Mr. Chetty said.

His proposal: move poor children to high-mobility communities... 

Over Soccer Moms' dead bodies...

Posted by at October 23, 2015 11:59 AM
  

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