Essay on The generational mobility in the United States


“The “American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can become successful in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American Dream can be achieved through hard work, risk-taking and being enterprising, rather than by chance.” (Barone, 2019). The American Dream had been included as a method of achieving financial success. Th emethod of earning monegyt which is usualy celebrated had been changing over time. The previous version of the Americal dream had been honored thirft as well as hard work in the form of the most preferred way of becoming successful in life. From the time industrial revolution had evolved, Americans have thought of various shortcuts whioch could result in making them earn more money. The United States could be considered as one of the countries which has the maximum investment in terms of education. Besides this, some other countrries which invest a similar ration in terms of education could have numerous impoacvts on the concept of integrational earnings mobility. The money that is spent in the primary and secondary schooling process coudl be made accessible to peopel belonging to every class of the society. This would prove to be more beneficial in nature for the prupose of promoting integrational; earnings mobility. Whereas, the money that is spent on the process of tertiary education would only be known to be accesible to some and it would dampen the concept of integrational earnings mobility.


In these countries the inequality in income is also much lower compared to the ones in the United States. In general, countries where the annual income is distributed unevenly also tend to be countries where the economic advantages and disadvantages are passed on more frequently within a family (Corak, 2013). A correlation does not imply automatically a causal relationship but there are strong arguments that substantiate a causal relation. A causal relationship between the inequality of income and the mobility of intergenerational earnings will increase the importance of family background and thereby make your own hard work less important. To support the American Dream public policy should dampen the impact of income inequality and take measurements that increase the intergenerational earnings mobility.

First argument:

Parents’ socioeconomic status has an impact on their children’s health, early social development and their interests to learn. This combined with the quality of schools and neighbourhoods influences the success of children in primary and secondary school. The income of the parents and social connections influences access to good schools (Corak, 2013). Enrichment Expenditures like books, computers, summer camps and private schooling increase the likelihood of successfully applying to college. Enrichment expenditures on children from top-level income parents in the United States have been growing by almost 300%. Enrichment expenditures by low-level income parents in the United States have also been growing but are not even doubled (Duncan, Greg & Richard, 2011). As a result of the inequality in early cognitive development, primary and secondary schooling and enrichment expenditures the abilities of children before high school has become more uneven.

Second argument:

Countries with a higher return to the concept of schooling are related to the earnings mobility of lower intergenerational. The return to schooling is measured by the ratio calculated from the average income of men between 25 and 34 years old having a university degree with the income of men holding a particular degree of high school diploma (OECD.2011b, tableA8.1). The return to schooling in the United States has been growing since 1980, which goes alternatively with the reduced earnings mobility which is intergenerational in nature. The income of people in the United States with a college education has increased more than the income of people with high school education and even more for those with graduate and professional credentials (Corak, 2013). Parents with a higher income have more capital for investment in the schooling of the children due to their increased incomes. Because the return to education is higher there are strong arguments for high-income parents to invest more money in their children.

Third Argument.

Sons raised by top income fathers have a higher probability to work for the same employer in comparison to sons raised by low- income fathers (Bingley, Corak & Miles Corak, 2012). Intergenerational transmission of income in the top-level classes could be related to the employer’s intergenerational transmission. The sons who have been raised by top-level income fathers have a higher chance to fall in income classes when not working for the same employer as their father (Corak, 2013). Datcher Loury (2006), hints the fact that in the United States around 50% of the jobs are obtained with the help of connection in the family. Pérez-Gonzalez (2006), did research on 300 CEO transitions, it was found that much more than 30 % of the people who had been elected as CEO were family-related. To lower the importance of family background in finding a job, internships can be crucial.

Fourth Argument.

A counter-argument to the statement that intergenerational earnings mobility is caused by income inequality and social status differences is that genetic traits like learning ability and other skills are transmitted by parents to their children. When characteristics that are important for the labour market are strongly transmitted between parents then the income of parents, as well as their children, are related (Becker & Tomes 1979). However, the relation among the family income with attendance in college has become stronger over time even when correcting for the impact of cognitive skills.


From the arguments presented above, it had been noticed that usually, the workplaces in numerous organizations tend to follow the hierarchy rule. The professionals belonging to higher job profiles prefer providing the post to their family members except the ones from the organizations present already. This provides minimum opportunity to the ones who are already employed by the organization and hence enhanced the demotivating factor among the employees. It could further be analysed that the earning ability of an individual depends on the support that had been provided to him from people around them (Corak 2013). It had been stated by various researchers that the American Dream could be gained with the help of hard work, undertaking numerous risks as well as becoming enterprising. This is the partiuculart belief due to which Americans are said to accept a greater income which is not similar to teh citizens of other nations.


            From the above study, it could be concluded that parents are said to have a huge impact on the income aspects of the children. This is because the investment mae by them in the process of their schooling as well as social skills of the childrn vary from one family to other. The more the return on the schooling the more would be reasonig for the higher level of parents’s income which could be ionvested in the education and upbringing of the childern. Apart from the advantages obtained from the education quality being top-level, it had also been transmitted that fathers who earn more are likely to get more economic advantages with the help of their connections that are social in nature. For the purpose of increasing the integrational earnings mobility the nation’s government would require the implementation of various proggrams that would be public in nature. Thes eprogranms would be beneficial in the proces of providing good quality education to the children.




Barone, A. (2019). American Dream. Geraadpleegd op 17 november 2019, van.

Becker, Gary S., & Nigel Tomes. (1979). “An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of IncomeandIntergenerationalMobility.” Journal of PoliticalEconomy 87(6): 1153 – 89

Bingley, Paul, Miles Corak, & Niels C. Westergård-Nielson. (2012). “Equality of Opportunity andIntergenerational Transmission of Employers.” Chap. 18 in From Parents toChildren: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage, editedby John Ermisch, Markus Jäntti, and Timothy Smeeding. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Corak, M. (2013). Incomeinequality,Equality of Opportunity, andIntergenerationalmobility. EconomicPerspectives27(3), 79–102.

Duncan, Greg J., & Richard J. Murnane. (2011). “Introduction: The American Dream, ThenandNow.” Chap. 1 in Whither Opportunity? RisingInequality, Schools, andChildren’s Life Chances, editedby Greg J. Duncan and Richard J. Murn

OECD. 2011b. Education at a Glance (2011): OECD Indicators. OrganizationforEconomic Cooperation and Development

Pérez-González, Francisco. (2006). “Inherited Control andFirm Performance.” American Economic Review 96(5): 1559 – 88

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