A Closer Look

US – Income Inequality leads low-income boys to drop out of high school more often

Greater income gaps between those at the bottom and middle of the income distribution lead low-income boys to drop out of high school more often than their counterparts in lower inequality areas, suggesting that there is an important link between income inequality and reduced rates of upward mobility, according to a new paper presented today at the Brookings Panel on Activity. The finding has implications for social policy, implying a need for interventions that focus on bolstering low-income adolescents’ perceptions of what they could achieve in life.

In “Income Inequality, Social Mobility, and the Decision to Drop Out Of High School,” Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow and University of Maryland economics professor Melissa S. Kearney and Wellesley economics professor Phillip B. Levine propose a channel through which income inequality might lead to less upward mobility—often assumed to be the case but not yet fully proven. The conventional thinking among economists is that income inequality provides incentives for individuals to invest more in order to achieve the higher income position in society, but Kearney and Levine observe that if low-income youth view middle-class life as out of reach, they might decide to invest less in their own economic future.

Capture d’écran 2016-03-11 à 08.44.11

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Income Inequality, Social Mobility, and the Decision to Drop Out Of High School


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