Tyler Cowen collects some interesting links and observations on the question of income mobility in the U.S. of A. A sample:
So, if everybody's income is 50 percent higher than their parents', that shows up as zero income mobility. On the other hand, if average income stays constant, but a lot of low-earning parents have high-earning children, and vice-versa, that shows up as high income mobility.
That is Arnold Kling.
I once wrote (read the whole thing):
1. "Age-adjusted parental wealth, by itself, explains less than 10 percent of the variation in age-adjusted child wealth."
2. 20 percent of parents in the lowest quintile of the parent's wealth distribution have children who end up in the top two quintiles of their generation. One-quarter of the parents in the highest wealth quintile end up with kids in the two lowest quintiles.
The comments thread on Cowen's post has some interesting back-and-forth on whether or not more Americans really ought to be going to college.