Social mobility


A study from the London School of Economics, long a leftist stronghold, calims that the UK and the US have less social mobility than 6 other industrial countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Canada, and Germany.

Very few details are given, but apparently the study measures what percentage of those born into the lowest quartile of income—earners rise to the top quartile over a period of decades.

Dick Weltz   4 25 05

Thomas Lifson adds:

I am suspicious. The use of quartiles is a bit strange, since it compresses the range of possible mobility. One has to wonder if there wasn't a great deal of discretion taken, to yield the results most unfavorable to the most capitalist economies.

Joseph Crowley adds:

There's an election going on over there. Hence the third paragraph:

"With Labor's election—coordinator Alan Milburn insisting social mobility would be at the center of Labor's third term and more than 15 years after John Major promised to create a classless society, the researchers paint a depressing picture of Britain."

How much of our MSM headlines just prior to Bush's second win did you take seriously?

Then there is the Sutton Trust, on whose behalf the report was undertaken. They practically beg for such results.

Richard Baehr adds:

What the study does not tell you is how much a move a jump from quartile four to quartile one is in a particular country. If the ratio of quartile one to quartile four income is relatively low in both time periods (as it may well be in the Scandinavian counties, with their high tax socialist welfare states), then it is much easier to jump from the bottom to the top quartile and then maybe back again. A much larger percentage gain in relative income might move somebody only from quartile four to quartile two in America, but that jump may be more meaningful than the Scandinavan three quartile improvement.