Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility
Author: Danny Yagan, Emmanuel Saez, John N Friedman, Nicholas Turner, Raj Chetty
Topic: Financial well-being
Publisher: U.S. Department of the Treasury
Location: United States
Format: Report
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: July 31, 2017
We characterize rates of intergenerational income mobility at each college in the United States using administrative data for over 30 million college students from 1999-2013. First, access to colleges varies greatly by parent income. Second, children from low and high-income families have very similar earnings outcomes conditional on the college they attend, indicating that there is little mismatch of low socioeconomic status students to selective colleges. Third, upward mobility rates measured, for instance, by the fraction of students who come from families in the bottom income quintile and reach the top quintile vary substantially across colleges. Finally, between the 1980 and 1991 birth cohorts, the fraction of students from bottom-quintile families fell sharply at colleges with high rates of bottom-to-top-quintile mobility, and did not change substantially at elite private institutions.
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