Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Jeremy Pais, David Weakliem

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


A dynamic class structure that fosters social mobility is the foundation of the American Dream, and is believed to be beneficial to all society. But are the benefits of mobility evenly distributed? Although the importance of mobility to the surrounding community is an intuitive idea, it has been difficult to test empirically with data until recently. Drawing from innovative mobility data provided by Chetty et al. (2014a) for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), I study the social consequences of intergenerational income mobility occurring across the local class structure. I use ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to investigate the impact of local mobility structures on median earnings and poverty, as well as how this impact breaks down by race/ethnicity and gender, for MSAs in the United States. Overall, I find that mobility has a significant positive relationship with median earnings, and a significant negative relationship with poverty, but these relationships are stratified by race/ethnicity and gender. The effects are strongest for white males. They weaken in magnitude and significance for females, Hispanics, and blacks in comparison, and are nonsignificant for blacks entirely.

Major Advisor

Michael Wallace