9/9/2015 – How an Area’s Union Membership Can Predict Children’s Advancement (The New York Times)

Sep 09, 2015 Comments Off by

It is well established that unions provide benefits to workers — that they raise wages for their members (and even for nonmembers). They can help reduce inequality. A new study suggests that unions may also help children move up the economic ladder. Researchers at Harvard, Wellesley and the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, released a paper Wednesday showing that children born to low-income families typically ascend to higher incomes in metropolitan areas where union membership is higher.The size of the effect is small, but there aren’t many other factors that are as strongly correlated with mobility. Raj Chetty of Stanford and Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard, who pioneered this method of examining economic mobility, established five factors that are strongly correlated with a low-income child’s likelihood of making it into the middle class: the rate of single motherhood in an area, the degree of inequality, the high school dropout rate, the degree of residential segregation, and the amount of social capital, as measured by indicators like voter turnout and participation in community organizations.

Read the full article in The New York Times.

Financial Landing 2015

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