May 30, 2017

Photo: Archbridge Institute

How do people escape from poverty and begin to build wealth? Economic mobility is one of the foremost policy concerns in United States, across the political spectrum, but it’s not obvious which conditions create opportunity and foster mobility. The Archbridge Institute is a newly established Atlas Network partner based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on how to expand opportunity. Its new research study, “Economic Mobility in America,” provides an overview of the different ways that both relative and absolute mobility can be measured. Study author Scott Winship, an honorary Archbridge adviser, uses a 50-year survey of how children have fared as they grow older and establish their own households to establish a comprehensive suite of new mobility measures.

“The relative mobility estimates in this study affirm those from past research in finding that poor children are all too likely to remain poor in adulthood, although it remains the case that roughly three in four adults are better off than their parents were at the same age,” said Gonzalo Schwarz, president and CEO of Archbridge Institute. “Our goal is to build on these findings and delve deeper into the structural solutions that would improve mobility even further, especially for those at the bottom of the economic ladder.”

Winship explained his research in coverage from National Review, and is has received attention from several other organizations, including the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and the Institute for Family Studies.

“A salvo has just been fired by Scott Winship, formerly of Brookings and the Manhattan Institute and now leading a project on social capital and mobility for the Congressional Joint Economic Committee,” write Richard V. Reeves and Dimitrios Halikias of the Brookings Institution. “(The paper, published by the new Archbridge Institute, is also the most comprehensive overview of recent work in intergenerational mobility).”

The Archbridge Institute also recently published the first in its “American Originals” publication series, about the creative legacy of Walt Disney, who started life as a Missouri farmboy and eventually founded one of the most successful companies in the world. Each entry in the “American Originals” series will tell the stories of entrepreneurs and innovators and their journeys from humble beginnings to creative success.