Barriers to Social Mobility Cut Deep Through Racial Divisions

In 99% of neighbourhoods in the US, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys with similar socio-economic background, according to a new comprehensive study including data of 20 million American children and their parents.

The research carries major implications for the discussion on black-white upward mobility in America. While many public policies target environmental disparities as the source of discrimination, the researchers convincingly demonstrate that a single factor, like access to education, is insufficient to bring about social change. Black and white boys brought up in similar socio-economic conditions, for instance, in a two-parent family with comparable parental income, educational background, and geographic location, will still reach different income levels in adulthood.

The authors of the paper argue then that instead of isolating one mobility barrier, the policy-makers should opt for cross-neighbourhood and cross-class initiatives.

Read the full paper below:


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