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The American Dream is slipping away faster than we thought

点击量:   时间:2019-03-04 12:01:01

IT IS the American dream that anyone can become prosperous through hard work, irrespective of their status at birth – but the reality is different. The socio-economic status of someone in the US is more strongly influenced by that of their parents than previously thought. Michael Hout of New York University looked at data from 21,000 people, each given a “socio-economic index” (SEI) score – a measure of pay and credentials ranking 0 to 100, with 0 representing the lowest in society. The data included questionnaire answers that helped establish the SEI scores of the people’s parents. The American dream suggests that anyone can achieve a high SEI score, but Hout found otherwise. It turned out that there was a strong linear relationship between someone’s SEI score and that of their parents (PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1802508115). Earlier studies have hinted at such “intergenerational persistence”, says Hout,