Black-White Trends in Intergenerational Educational Mobility: A Positional Analysis

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This article examines black-white differences in intergenerational educational mobility for cohorts born in the U.S. 1915-1984. Using a novel mobility measure based on relative educational positions, the author compares racial mobility flows across the entire schooling distribution. The empirical analysis reveals widespread equalization among blacks and whites in upward mobility out of the bottom of the schooling distribution, but widespread persistence in black disadvantage in downward mobility out of the top of the schooling distribution. These findings are consistent with a pattern of differentially maintained educational advantage, suggesting a lasting significance of race among well-educated families. The author presents some possible explanations for these findings and discusses how they align with reported black-white differences in intergenerational income mobility.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
ISSN0002-9602
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 2022

ID: 298630822