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.


Marcus Casey is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC). Prior to joining the department, he completed my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University. His research interests lie broadly within the fields of Urban and Labor Economics with emphasis on issues related to neighborhood sorting, valuation of neighborhood amenities, education, poverty, and inequality. At UIC, he has taught undergraduate courses in Public Finance and Statistics and Ph.D. courses in Urban Economics, Labor Economics, and Microeconometrics. In addition, he teaches an annual workshop course aimed at introducing graduate students to conducting original research.