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HKS Affiliated Authors

Isabelle and Scott Black Research Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus


Creating Mobility from Poverty. David Ellwood, August 2016, Paper, "Mobility is the American dream. It is the foundational promise of the nation: through initiative and hard work, anyone can rise from poverty and succeed. Both anecdote and scholarship show unequivocally that at least some people from all walks of life do get ahead and thrive. The American dream also contains an implicit assumption that mobility is readily available regardless of the circumstances of one’s birth, and that such mobility is more common in the United States than in other nations. Sadly, research shows that the United States is not particularly strong on upward mobility for those born at the lower end of the income distribution." Link