Two studies, using the same data set, produce results on absolute mobility that are 20 points apart. How does this happen? Dimitrios Halikias and Richard Reeves offer a number of possible explanations.
Few questions dominate politics more than the question of whether the next generation will be better off than the last; it is almost the definition of progress. That is why estimates of absolute mobility—i.e., the likelihood a child will be financially better off than their parent was at around the same age—are so important.
But these estimates can vary quite drastically. A new Urban Institute report finds that 63 percent of Americans have a higher income than their parents did. But an earlier, much-cited report from Pew painted a much rosier picture, with 84 percent surpassing their parents’ income:
Read the full report here: How many people are better off than their parents? Depends on how you cut the data. | Brookings Institution