Raj Chetty study summarized here.
James Pethokoukis comments:
I’m reminded here of the important findings about upward mobility found in Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success by economists Ran Abramitzky (Stanford University) and Leah Boustan (Princeton University). This is the headline grabber: “Children of immigrants from nearly every country in the world are more upwardly mobile than the children of US-born residents who were raised in families with a similar income level.”
But, you might ask, why is this so? Again, Abramitzky and Boustan:
As striking proof that geography matters, we find that children of immigrants outearn other children in a broad national comparison, but they do not earn more than other children who grew up in the same area. In terms of economic fortunes, the grown children of immigrants look similar to the children of US-born parents who were raised down the block or in the same town. This pattern implies that the primary difference between immigrant families and the families of the US born is in where they choose to live. One implication of our findings is that it is very likely that US-born families would have achieved the same success had they moved to such high-opportunity places themselves. In fact, we find that the children of US-born parents who moved from one state to another have higher upward mobility than those who stayed put: their level of upward mobility is closer to (but not quite as high as) that of the children of immigrants who moved from abroad.