College and intergenerational mobility: New evidence from administrative data
Many argue that higher education is one of the best ways to increase intergenerationalmobility. Students from lower-income backgrounds can move up the income ladder if they attend the right college or university. But how equal is access to those schools? If qualified low-income students aren’t attending the schools that provide the most opportunity, then the college attendance process may be retarding upward economic mobility. This research project will look at the role of colleges and universities in transmitting income inequality into the next generation. Using gold-standard restricted-access tax data, the author will identify where students from across the income distribution attend college, and which colleges are improving the economic standing of students up and down the income ladder.