Friday, August 2, 2013

Equality of Opportunity & Upward Mobility in America 2

absolute_upward_mobility_mapThis continues our review of a recent study that will help you improve your income

Ruth wanted a better life for her sons and daughters. Her immigrant parents raised her with values and especially a work ethic. They tried to give her the education that would create opportunities for improvement. But, they couldn’t afford to send her to college. They sent her to a technical school that prepared her to work as a medical assistant. She instilled a love of education in her children and provided for them to go to college. All four children worked hard. All four moved out of poverty and into the middle class.

Study Does Not State Causes

Wednesday we shared the findings of a recent study done as part of the Harvard Equality of Opportunity Project on upward mobility. You may try to seek a cause and effect relationship within the study. The researchers, however, caution against jumping to making those conclusions. They wrote in the findings section of the report:

“We caution that all of the findings in this study are correlational and cannot be interpreted as causal effects. For instance, areas with high rates of segregation may also have other differences that could be the root cause driving the differences in children’s outcomes. “

Correlations Found in the Study

The researchers continue their findings by sharing (bullets added for clarity)

“What is clear from this research is that there is

  • Substantial variation in the United States in the prospects for escaping poverty
  • There are some areas in the U.S. where a child’s chances of success do not depend heavily on his or her parents’ income.
  • Understanding the features of these areas –and how we can improve mobility in areas that currently have lower rates of mobility –is an important question for future research that we and other social scientists are exploring.
  • To facilitate this ongoing research, we have posted the mobility statistics by area and the other correlates used in the study on our website”

Monday we continue examining the results of the study and their effect on your improvement

This blog will improve as you submit comments, questions, and experiences. We will answer your questions in future blog posts. Please submit your comments and questions so we can answer them.

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