In this chapter, we present analyses of the roles of education and occupation in shaping trends in income inequality among college-educated workers in the U.S., drawing data from two sources: (1) the 1960–2000 U.S. Censuses and (2) the 2006–2008 three-year American Community Survey. We also examine in detail historical trends in between-occupation and within-occupation income inequality for a small set of high-status professionals, with focused attention on the economic wellbeing of scientists. Our research yields four findings. First, education premiums have increased. Second, both between-occupation and within-occupation inequality increased at about the same rates for college graduates, so that the portion of inequality attributable to occupational differences remained constant. Third, scientists have lost ground relative to other similarly educated professionals. Fourth, trends in within-occupation inequality vary by occupation and education, making any sweeping summary on the roles of education and occupation in the overall increase in income inequality difficult.
Occupation inequality; within-occupation inequality; earnings inequality; high-status professions; trends in earnings inequality
Existing studies of the consequences of paternal incarceration for children treat paternal incarceration as a dichotomous event (a child either experiences paternal incarceration or does not), although effects could accumulate with both the frequency and duration of paternal incarcerations. In this article I use register data on Danish children from birth cohort 1991, some of whom experienced paternal incarceration before age 15, to show how educational outcomes and criminality up to age 20 vary by frequency and total duration of paternal incarceration. The high quality of Danish register data also allows me to distinguish between paternal arrest and paternal incarceration and to show results for the total duration of paternal incarcerations conditioned on frequency of paternal incarceration. Results show that educational outcomes and criminality indeed correlate with duration and frequency of paternal incarceration, indicating that treating paternal incarceration as a dichotomous event blurs important heterogeneity in the consequences of paternal incarceration.
paternal incarceration; educational outcomes; criminality; register data
This article tests whether an alcohol treatment program for drunk drivers in Denmark increased the stability of their relationships with spouses or cohabiting partners. The treatment program, implemented in 1990, allowed a group of offenders to avoid prison and participate in a rehabilitation program. I use it here as a natural experiment, exploiting a rich administrative dataset to show that the program marginally increases offenders’ relationship stability. I also test whether increased relationship stability observed among the treated offenders results from their pardon from prison or from their participation in the rehabilitation program. Results suggest that the rehabilitation program drives the effect. These findings contribute to the literature on what alternative sanctions could be offered to offenders to improve their long-term social outcomes.
drunk driving; IV models; relationship stability
Intermarriage is of great interest to analysts because a group’s tendency to partner across ethnic boundaries is usually seen as a key indicator of the social distance between groups in a multiethnic society. Theories of intermarriage as a key indicator of integration are, however, typically premised upon the union of white and nonwhite individuals, and we know very little about what happens in the unions of multiracial people, who are the children of intermarried couples. What constitutes intermarriage for multiracial people? Do multiracial individuals think that ethnic or racial ancestries are a defining aspect of their relationships with their partners? In this article, I argue that there are no conventions for how we characterize endogamous or exogamous relationships for multiracial people. I then draw on examples of how multiracial people and their partners in Britain regard their relationships with their partners and the significance of their and their partners’ ethnic and racial backgrounds. I argue that partners’ specific ancestries do not necessarily predict the ways in which multiracial individuals regard their partners’ ethnic and racial backgrounds as constituting difference or commonality within their relationships.
intermarriage; multiracial people; relationships; partners; ancestry
The social safety net responded in significant and favorable ways during the Great Recession. Aggregate per capita expenditures grew significantly, with particularly strong growth in the SNAP, EITC, UI, and Medicaid programs. Distributionally, the increase in transfers was widely shared across demographic groups, including families with and without children, single-parent and two-parent families. Transfers grew as well among families with more employed members and with fewer employed members. However, the increase in transfer amounts was not strongly progressive across income classes within the low-income population, increasingly slightly more for those just below the poverty line and those just above it, compared to those at the bottom of the income distribution. This is mainly the result of the EITC program, which provides greater benefits to those with higher family earnings. The expansions of SNAP and UI benefitted those at the bottom of the income distribution to a greater extent.
This article reviews recent developments in measuring education and skill that need to be taken into account in any new initiative to monitor social mobility. Over the past half-century, patterns of educational participation and attainment have become more heterogeneous, a trend that has been accompanied by increases in assessment and testing practices, and the availability of electronic data sources and other administrative records, including official school transcripts that are generally held indefinitely. This article describes the most promising approaches to measuring education and discusses some of the possible challenges for using the information to study social mobility. Measures of educational concepts fall along at least one of several dimensions: credentials earned, qualities of the schools attended, the amount and nature of curricular exposure, and the development and acquisition of skills. Selected data sources, with an emphasis on school transcripts and administrative records, and their possible uses are described.
education; schools; schooling; measurement; higher education; K–12 education
This article focuses on stability and change in “mixed middle-income” neighborhoods. We first analyze variation across nearly two decades for all neighborhoods in the United States and in the Chicago area, particularly. We then analyze a new longitudinal study of almost 700 Chicago adolescents over an 18-year span, including the extent to which they are exposed to different neighborhood income dynamics during the transition to young adulthood. The concentration of income extremes is persistent among neighborhoods, generally, but mixed middle-income neighborhoods are more fluid. Persistence also dominates among individuals, though Latino-Americans are much more likely than African Americans or whites to be exposed to mixed middle-income neighborhoods in the first place and to transition into them over time, even when adjusting for immigrant status, education, income, and residential mobility. The results here enhance our knowledge of the dynamics of income inequality at the neighborhood level, and the endurance of concentrated extremes suggests that policies seeking to promote mixed-income neighborhoods face greater odds than commonly thought.
mixed-income neighborhoods; inequality; young adulthood; life course
Studies of social mobility typically focus on the associations between the socioeconomic characteristics of individuals and families in one generation and those same characteristics for the next generation. Yet the life chances of individuals may be affected by a wider network of kin than just the nuclear family, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and even more remote kin. In planning new studies of intergenerational social mobility, researchers should consider the ways that more remote kin may affect socioeconomic success and hardship and design data collection strategies for collecting data on wider kin networks. Administrative record linkage and survey research have complementary advantages for identifying kin networks. Successful implementation of these approaches holds the promise of a much richer set of studies of intergenerational social mobility than most researchers have attempted thus far.
kin networks; social mobility; demography; family
Were black ghettos a product of white reaction to the Great Migration in the 1920s and 1930s, or did the ghettoization process have earlier roots? This presentation takes advantage of recently available data on black and white residential patterns in several major Northern cities in the period 1880-1940. Using geographic areas smaller than contemporary census tracts, it traces the growth of black populations in each city and trends in the level of isolation and segregation. In addition it analyzes the determinants of location: which blacks lived in neighborhoods with higher black concentrations, and what does this tell us about the ghettoization process? We find that the development of ghettos in an embryonic form was well underway in 1880, that segregation became intense prior to the Great Migration, and that in this whole period blacks were segregated based on race rather than class or Southern origin.
ghettoization; residential segregation; Great Migration
safety-net; family complexity; marriage; cohabitation; stepfamilies
One of the challenges associated with high-volume, diverse datasets is whether synthesis of open data streams can translate into actionable knowledge. Recognizing that challenge and other issues related to these types of data, the National Institutes of Health developed the Big Data to Knowledge or BD2K initiative. The concept of translating “big data to knowledge” is important to the social and behavioral sciences in several respects. First, a general shift to data-intensive science will exert an influence on all scientific disciplines, but particularly on the behavioral and social sciences given the wealth of behavior and related constructs captured by big data sources. Second, science is itself a social enterprise; by applying principles from the social sciences to the conduct of research, it should be possible to ameliorate some of the systemic problems that plague the scientific enterprise in the age of big data. We explore the feasibility of recalibrating the basic mechanisms of the scientific enterprise so that they are more transparent and cumulative; more integrative and cohesive; and more rapid, relevant, and responsive.
big data; data visualization; integrative data analysis; informatics
Political participation and citizens' perceptions of the legitimacy and fairness of government are central components of democracy. In this article, we examine one possible threat to these markers of a just political system: family member incarceration. We offer a unique glimpse into the broader social consequences of punishment that are brought on by a partner's or parent's incarceration. We argue that the criminal justice system serves as an important institution for political socialization for the families of those imprisoned, affecting their attitudes and orientations toward the government and their will and capacity to become involved in political life. We draw from ethnographic data collected by one of the authors, quantitative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and interviews with recently released male prisoners and their female partners. Our findings suggest that experiences of a family member's incarceration complicate perceptions of government legitimacy and fairness and serve as a barrier to civic participation.
political socialization; mass incarceration; legitimacy; fairness; prisoners' families
This article uses data from the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to estimate the proportions of young men and women who will take on a variety of partner and parent roles by age 30, as well as to describe how these estimates have changed across cohorts. It then draws from identity theory and related theoretical work to consider how the multiple family roles which young adults are likely to occupy—both over their life course and at a single point in time—may influence inter- and intra-family (unit) relationships in light of current trends in family complexity. This discussion highlights four key implications of identity theory as it relates to family complexity, and proposes several hypotheses for future empirical research to explore, such as the greater likelihood of role conflict in families with greater complexity and limited resources. Implications for public policy are also discussed.
incarceration; race; crime; social responsibility; social justice
Researchers largely have relied on a measure of family structure to describe children’s living arrangements, but this approach captures only the child’s relationship to the parent(s), ignoring the presence and composition of siblings. We develop a measure of family complexity that merges family structure and sibling composition to distinguish between simple two-biological-parent families, families with complex-sibling (half or stepsiblings) arrangements, and complex-parent (stepparent, single-parent) families. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we provide a descriptive profile of changes in children’s living arrangements over a 13-year span (1996–2009). SIPP sample sizes are sufficiently large to permit an evaluation of changes in the distribution of children in various (married, cohabiting, and single-parent) simple and complex families according to race/ethnicity and parental education. The article concludes by showing that we have reached a plateau in family complexity and that complexity is concentrated among the most disadvantaged families.
family complexity; children’s living arrangements; family structure; measurement
In this paper I move beyond current understandings of family- and school-related dynamics that explain the educational and occupational success of low-income immigrant children to investigate the role of cultural capital acquired in the country of origin. Class-related forms of knowledge acquired prior to migration can become invaluable assets in areas of destination through the realization of what Pierre Boutdieu calls habitus, that is, a series of embodied predispositions deployed by individuals in their pursuit of set objectives. Although the concept has attracted prolonged attention, the mechanisms by which the habitus is fulfilled remain unspecified. Here, I propose and examine three of those mechanisms: (a) cognitive correspondence, (b) positive emulation, and (c) active recollection. My study shows that class-related resources, like education, self definition, and remembrance of nation and ancestry play an important function, shaping youthful expectations and behaviors, and protecting the children of low-income immigrants from downward mobility.
How can we explain exceptional advancement by disadvantaged immigrants’ children? Extending segmented assimilation theory, this article traces the structural and relational attributes of high schools attended by young adults who reached their late twenties in 2000. Hypotheses are derived from theories in sociology of education and tested with four waves of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS). The authors offer three major findings. First, an overwhelming majority of disadvantaged students attend public schools; some relational attributes are typical in public schools attended by disadvantaged students. Second, children’s upward mobility is shaped by the structural and relational attributes of their high schools. Most school effects are the same for disadvantaged and advantaged youngsters, and student-educator bonds and curriculum structure have even stronger positive effects for the disadvantaged. Finally, mobility patterns differ widely among Chinese, Mexicans, and whites. Mexicans are less likely to be exposed to favorable school attributes.
immigrant children; upward mobility; high school effects; segmented assimilation; immigrants and education; structural and relational attributes; Mexican; Chinese
The collapse of the labor, housing, and stock markets beginning in 2007 created unprecedented challenges for American families. This study examines disparities in wealth holdings leading up to the Great Recession and during the first years of the recovery. All socioeconomic groups experienced declines in wealth following the recession, with higher wealth families experiencing larger absolute declines. In percentage terms, however, the declines were greater for less-advantaged groups as measured by minority status, education, and pre-recession income and wealth, leading to a substantial rise in wealth inequality in just a few years. Despite large changes in wealth, longitudinal analyses demonstrate little change in mobility in the ranking of particular families in the wealth distribution. Between 2007 and 2011, one fourth of American families lost at least 75 percent of their wealth, and more than half of all families lost at least 25 percent of their wealth. Multivariate longitudinal analyses document that these large relative losses were disproportionally concentrated among lower income, less educated, and minority households.
Declining rates of marriage and overall increases in union instability, combined with high levels of unintended and nonmarital fertility, create the possibility for parents to have children with more than one partner, called multiple-partner fertility, or MPF. The unique characteristics of families with MPF present data and other logistical challenges to researchers studying the phenomenon. Drawing from recent studies and updated data, I present new estimates of MPF that show that about 13 percent of men aged 40 to 44 and 19 percent of women aged 41 to 49 have children with more than one partner, with a higher prevalence among the disadvantaged. Compared to parents with two or more children by only one partner, people with MPF become parents at younger ages, largely with unintended first births, and often do so outside of marriage. This article touches on the implications of MPF for families and concludes by discussing the theoretical difficulties in studying MPF and the challenges it presents to public policy.
multiple-partner fertility; family complexity; nonmarital childbearing; unintended fertility; union instability; repartnering
This paper analyzes mortality rates for 3 of the main causes of deaths between the ages of 15 and 34 (motor vehicle injuries, homicide, and suicide) from 1950 to 1996, and across 26 countries. Average sex ratios and age patterns and the trends in age- and sex-standardized mortality rates are analyzed for each cause. Overall, youth violent mortality levels have been remarkably stable since the 1950s. As mortality due to other causes has receded, the contribution of these three causes has increased from 25 to 40 percent between the 1950s and the mid-1970s, and has remained above 40 percent since. Last, a principal component analysis is performed to summarize the variance in age-, sex-, and cause-specific rates over time and across countries. This summary representation of international differences displays regional clusters and emphasizes the “outlying” position of the United States among industrialized nations.
We present a method for dividing the historical development of community migration streams into an initial period and a subsequent takeoff stage with the purpose of systemically differentiating pioneer migrants from follower migrants. The analysis is organized around five basic research questions. First, can we empirically identify a juncture in the historical development of community-based migration that marks the transition from an initial stage of low levels of migration and gradual growth into a takeoff stage in which the prevalence of migration grows at a more accelerated rate? Second, does this juncture point exist at roughly similar migration prevalence levels across communities? Third, are first-time migrants in the initial stage (pioneers) different from first-time migrants in the takeoff stage (followers)? Fourth, what is the nature of this migrant selectivity? Finally, does the nature and degree of pioneer selectivity vary across country migration streams?
migration; selectivity; cumulative causation; Mexico; Latin America
Rural-to urban migration is increasingly common among youth and could affect sexual activities. We use life history calendar data collected in Kisumu, Kenya, to investigate how the timing and number of rural-to-urban moves are associated with premarital pregnancy. Among sexually experienced young women aged 18-24 (N=226), 39 percent have experienced a premarital pregnancy and 60 percent experienced a move in the last 10 years. Results of the event history analysis show that those who experienced one or two moves or whose most recent move occurred in the last seven to 12 months are at increased risk of premarital pregnancy compared to nonmovers. Those whose last move occurred at age 13 or younger were also at an elevated risk. Migration brings about specific needs for youth, including the need for sexual and reproductive health education and services, which should be made available and accessible to new urban residents.
adolescents; Africa; migration; premarital pregnancy; sexual behavior