Upward Income Mobility & Shale Production: A Causal Connection?



Cody Davis
08/20/2013

According to a new study, geography plays an essential role in upward income mobility in the United States.

The Equality of Opportunity Project recently determined that children raised in a lower income household have a better chance of climbing the social stratification ladder and becoming a top quintile earner if they were raised in certain geographic regions.

Overview of the Study

A team of top academic economists from Harvard and Berkeley analyzed pre-tax income information from a core sample of children (born in 1980 or 1981 and still U.S. citizens as of 2013) to calculate local intergenerational mobility.

Hypothesizing that varying local and state tax breaks might affect intergenerational income mobility, the group measured the children’s household income in 2010-2011 when they were approximately 30 years of age, and compared the figures with their parents’ household income between 1996 and 2000.

An article in The New York Times has several interactive maps which visualize the results of the study. Below is a quick snapshot of the team’s analysis:

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