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The Contender
Con (against)

SocioEconomic Mobility

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 700 times Debate No: 101246
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Sorry to disappoint Ladies and Gentlemen but this is not an argument. I am a senior in college trying to come up with an accurate metric to prove my argument that socioeconmic mobility in the U.S. has drastically decreased over the last 35 years. (Largely due to NAFTA and improper Federal policies) I have come to this forum because people who want to participate in discussion are the ones who have the best opinions/knowledge. I have looked at things such as tax returns, unemployment rates, investment within the market; thus far I have not come up with anything too effective. I also unfortunately have the single most useless professor in the whole world. PLEASE HELP ME.


A common measure is to establish the trend of income between multiple generations of a family. For example, this study on birthweight and race found the trend of income between parent, grandparent, and great grandparent.

We combined information from 3 generations of family members. The first generation consisted of the adult male and/or female in the household of NLSY79 respondents when they were 14 years old. Information concerning first-generation individuals was acquired retrospectively from NLSY79 respondents who were 15 to 22 years old at the time of initial interview. The second generation was comprised of NLSY79 respondents who gave birth to at least 1 child before 2002. The third generation includes the children of NLSY79 respondents for whom birthweight was reliably obtained through maternal report.

There is debate over the validity of comparing just two generations of a family:

And yet, one main assumption that has gone largely untested for all this time has been the idea that intergenerational social mobility should be measured as the similarity in socio-economic outcomes between parents and their offspring, that is, betweentwogenerations. This two-generation paradigm has most recently and forcefully been challenged by Robert Mare in his presidential address to the Population Association of America (Mare 2011). Mare notes that thanks to the preponderance of mobility research that either implicitly or explicitly assumes that the intergenerational transmission of status does not extend beyond that from parents to their children, "[i]t is likely that we have overstated intergenerational mobility [...] or, at the very least, have misunderstood the pathways through which it occurs" (ibid: pp.19"20).

I hope this helps! :)
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