Online interdisciplinary dialogue – Neighborhoods and Intergenerational Social Mobility

Online interdisciplinary dialogue on

“Neighborhoods and Intergenerational Social Mobility”

May 16, 2022, from 17:00 to 19:00 CET

Organized by the CEPREMAP and the Paris School of Economics,

in collaboration with the “Urban Economics, History and Society” OSE collaborative project

and the “Regional & Urban Economics Seminar

Webinar Link:


Program Overview

17:00 – 17:05 Welcome Address: Miren Lafourcade (University Paris-Saclay, CEPREMAP and PSE)

17:05 – 17:30 Leah Platt Boustan (Professor of Economics – Princeton University)

Title: “Streets of gold: The role of geography in immigrant assimilation in the US”

Abstract: The United States has absorbed two major waves of immigration: one in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and one today. I will present new data documenting a common pattern of immigrant assimilation in both periods, whereby the children of immigrants completely converge with and even surpass the earnings of the children of the US-born. Location choice plays an important role: immigrants move to urban areas that offer opportunities for advancement for themselves and their children. Settling in an immigrant enclave can delay assimilation, but this effect is overwhelmed by the strong tendency of immigrants to move to highly mobile locations.

17:30 – 17:40 Interdisciplinary dialogue with the audience

Discussant/Panelist: Florian Mayneris (Université du Québec à Montréal)

17:40 – 18:05 Patrick Sharkey (William S Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs)

Title: “The Growing Link Between Space and Inequality in the US”

Abstract: I argue that space is becoming an increasingly important dimension of inequality in the US. I will describe several trends and findings that have exacerbated spatial inequality, and present new evidence showing how the division of urban space affects the economic outcomes of children. The talk concludes with three approaches to addressing spatial inequality.

18:05 – 18:15 Interdisciplinary dialogue with the audience

Discussant/Panelist: Haley McAvay (University of York)

18:15– 18:40   Michael Storper (Department of Geography & Environment – London School of Economics, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs)

Title: “Deep roots and changing fortunes: the changing geography of intergenerational social mobility in the United States over the twentieth century”

Abstract: Intergenerational social mobility (ISM) – the rate at which children born into poverty climb the income ladder – varies considerably across neighborhoods and cities in the United States. Some formerly high opportunity regions are no longer so, while other regions display consistently low levels of opportunity across the century. The changing geography of employment restructures the landscape of social mobility, but factors associated with intraregional inequality and “deep roots” generate persistence. These two forces are most sharply evident in the sharp decline in ISM for persons who grew up in the Midwest in the late twentieth century, as high-income economic activity has shifted away from it, and the persistence of the South as a low-opportunity region even as new economic activity shifted toward it.

18:40 – 18:50 Interdisciplinary dialogue with the audience

Discussant/Panelist: Clara Martínez-Toledano (Imperial College Business School)

18:50 – 18:55 Concluding Address: Laurent Gobillon (Paris School of Economics)

 Organizer :

Miren Lafourcade (Professor of Economics, University Paris-Saclay, CEPREMAP and PSE)

Acknowledgments :

We acknowledge the kind support of the CEPREMAP and of the Paris School of Economics.

References :

Abramitzky R. & L. Boustan (2022), Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success, PublicAffairs, 256p.

Connor D. & M. Storper (2020), “The changing geography of social mobility in the United States.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, 48: 30309-30317 (December).

Sharkey P. (2019), “Still Stuck in Places.” Pathways Winter 2019.