The historical shadow of segregation on human capital and upward mobility

Project Summary:

This project expands on recent path-breaking work that has documented substantial variation in rates of social mobility across locations in the United States. Where children grow up has a strong influence on the probability that they will earn more than their parents in adulthood, with some regions highly mobile and others lagging far behind. This research suggests that regional differences in opportunity might be explained not only by contemporary characteristics but also by historical disparities. The researchers will merge the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) with Raj Chetty and others’ Equality of Opportunity dataset, and the Logan-Parman index of inequality, providing a profound advancement in the literature with strong policy implications.


Rodney Andrews, a Harvard University Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar, is an assistant professor of economics in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and director of the Texas Schools Project. While Dr. Andrews has investigated a range of topics including health policy, his recent focus is on the economics of education and, more specifically, the topics of college paths, returns to college quality, and pre-K effects on student achievement. Papers on these topics and other education research can be found under “Papers.” Furthermore, Dr. Andrews’ has also completed research focusing on the college application process and how it is impacted by financial assistance in “The Effects of the Kalamazoo Promise on College Choice” and “Estimating the Responsiveness of College Applications to the Likelihood of Acceptance and Financial Assistance: Evidence from Texas,” both that have been published in the Economics of Education Review. Dr. Andrews received his PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan.