How many people are better off than their parents? Depends on how you cut the data says the Brookings Institution

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

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