Isabel Sawhill, The Brookings Institution
The question addressed in this brief is whether rising inequality affects mobility. The author answers that at current levels of inequality in the U.S., it likely does. However, the answer is qualified by a lack of sufficient data and rising income inequality partly caused by changes in education and in family structures. The author contends that a combination of government policies and changes in behavior that will improve education, reward work, and strengthen families, while also maintaining a basic safety net for those at the bottom, is needed.
Trina Shanks, Anne Price, Meizhu Lui and Victor Corral, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Children of color are four times more likely than white children to be born into the most economically fragile households. A poor start affects long-term well-being, making it difficult for children of color to catch up to their white counterparts and do as well in adulthood. Helping economically vulnerable households of color to build wealth and accumulate assets is a clear way to positively impact child well-being.