Special Editors: David B. Grusky, Timothy M. Smeeding, and C. Matthew Snipp
This volume of The ANNALS explores how to improve measurement of social mobility, tackling normative and technical questions with an interdisciplinary approach. It presents what is known and what we need to know about social mobility in the U.S. and examines the quality of existing data available. The editors assess options for how the U.S. can effectively build the infrastructure necessary to monitor social mobility, making the case for creating a new American Opportunity Study (AOS) – a database linking existing data in social surveys to government administrative records. They argue that building such an infrastructure would strengthen our ability to develop evidence-based policy in areas such as child development, labor markets, and the effects of safety net programs.