from the Wall Street Journal, Economist Raj Chetty’s Proposals on Inequality Draw Interest on Both Sides of the Political Aisle:
By analyzing tax records of families in 741 geographic districts, he pinpoints hotbeds of opportunity. Poorer children in Salt Lake City, for example, are twice as likely to reach the top fifth in income as those in Atlanta, though personal income in the cities is about the same.
High-mobility metro areas have a combination of greater economic and racial integration, better schools and a smaller fraction of single-parent families than lower-mobility areas. Integration is lagging in Atlanta, he said. “The strongest predictors of upward mobility are measures of family structure,” Mr. Chetty said.
His proposal: move poor children to high-mobility communities and remove the impediments to mobility in poor-performing neighborhoods. He now is working with the Obama administration on ways to encourage landlords in higher-opportunity neighborhoods to take in poor families by paying landlords more or guaranteeing rent payment.
Welfare payments decrease mobility and may be a factor increasing poverty. In the days before widespread welfare,people moved to ares of greater opportunity.