Is your ability to move up affected by where you grow up?
That is, is it harder to break out of poverty and move into the middle or upper-middle class if you live in South Carolina than if you live in North Dakota? Atlanta or Boston?
“Where you grow up matters,” Hendren, an assistant professor of economics at Harvard, recently told the New York Times. “There is tremendous variation across the U.S. in the extent to which kids can rise out of poverty.”
According to a Times article on the study, climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.
Saez is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Equitable Growth at the University of California Berkeley. In 2009, he received the John Bates Clark Medal as the country’s best academic economist under the age of 40.
The studies other co-authors include Raj Chetty of Harvard University and Patrick Kline of the University of California, Berkeley.