Which children do better than their parents, by race/ethnicity

We study five racial and ethnic groups: people of Hispanic ethnicity and non-Hispanic whites, blacks, Asians, and American Indians. By analysing rates of upward and downward mobility across generations for these groups, we quantify how their incomes change and predict their future earnings trajectories.

Hispanic Americans have rates of upward income mobility across generations that are slightly below those of whites. Hispanics are therefore on a path to moving up substantially in the income distribution across generations, potentially closing much of the present gap between their incomes’ and those of white Americans.

Asian immigrants have much higher levels of upward mobility than all other groups, but Asian children whose parents were born in the US have levels of intergenerational mobility similar to white children. This makes it more difficult to predict the trajectory of Asian Americans’ incomes, but Asians appear likely to remain at income levels comparable to or above white Americans in the long run.

In contrast, black and American Indian children have substantially lower rates of upward mobility than the other racial groups.

From: Race and economic opportunity in the United States, by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie R. Jones, Sonya R. Porter 27 June 2018

 

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