Colleges and Upward Mobility in the U.S. Over the Last Century

Awarded Scholars:
Ran Abramitzky, Stanford University
Santiago Pérez, University of California, Davis
Joseph Price, Brigham Young University
Project Date:
Jul 2022
Award Amount:

Children from higher-income families are more likely to attend higher-ranked colleges. The gap in economic outcomes between students who attend elite versus non-elite colleges is large, suggesting that higher education might amplify the persistence of economic status across generations. Economists Ran Abramitzky, Santiago Pérez, and Joseph Price will examine the relationship between higher education and intergenerational economic mobility. They will utilize a dataset constructed by Chetty et al. (2020) on the characteristics and outcomes of students who attended college in the early 2000s, census data, and information from publicly available college registers, directories, and catalogues for their study.


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