The hope that children will grow up to have higher standards of living than their parents is widespread around the world. In the United States, this concept is considered by many to be a core component of the American Dream—the idea of a “better life for your children” is a major part of what has drawn immigrants to this country for generations.
Recent research, however, shows that in the United States, the rate of upward absolute income mobility—the fraction of children who grow up to earn more than their parents, after adjusting for inflation—declined substantially over the past 50 years. More than 90 percent of U.S. children born in 1940 had higher real incomes at age 30 than their parents did, but only about 50 percent of children born in 1980 can say the same. This raisesRead More »