ISR Awards

A Multi-Generational Approach to Trends in Social Mobility

The proposed project will analyze trends in social mobility across three successive generations using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). First, it expands the mobility table approach to the study social mobility to assess whether the two-generation paradigm of social mobility research provides an adequate description of empirical reality or whether it underestimates the intergenerational transmission of class membership. Second, it analyzes how the determinants of social mobility have changed across generations by assessing trends in the effects of separate indicators of socio-economic background independent of trends in the impact of unobserved family characteristics. This project thus provides a new kind of analysis, rooted in and extending two distinct methodological traditions of mobility research to fill a glaring gap in the assessment of U.S. social mobility trends.