Trends in Social Mobility

The Social Mobility Research Group will be charged with addressing ongoing problems in monitoring trends in economic and social mobility. For the other RGs, analytic and statistical problems have been the main impediments to developing high-quality trend measurements, whereas a key obstacle in the mobility domain has long been the availability of adequate data. We propose to lay the groundwork for a new tax-return approach to monitoring mobility by exploiting a sample of approximately 90,000 tax returns in the 1987-1996 SOI (Statistics of Income) Family Panel. We will also support more conventional trend analyses of occupational and economic mobility using survey data and, in some cases, survey data linked to administrative data. This RG will be led by Gary Solon, who is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University and one of the leading scholars of mobility in the world.