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Impressive visualizations of social mobility

An anonymous tipster points to this news article by Emily Badger, Claire Cain Miller, Adam Pearce, and Kevin Quealy featuring an amazing set of static and dynamic graphs.


  1. Mark Samuel Tuttle says:

    Thank you for posting this; missed it at the time – from 2018 …

  2. somebody says:

    The most curious thing to me is the difference between black boys and girls. Black boys decouple from the class cohort they’re born with in a way that black girls seemingly don’t. There’s something interesting going on at the intersection of race, gender, and class there that I don’t understand

  3. ie Rabinovitz says:

    [Excerpted from E. Miller, The Abbey and Bishopric of Ely (1951), pp. 150-1]

    His name was Stephen Puttock, and he lived on the prior
    of Ely’s manor of Sutton at the end of the thirteenth and
    the beginning of the fourteenth century. There can be no
    doubt about his villeinage : he was described as nativus in
    a charter ; he paid a fine for the lord’s licence to marry
    both his wives, as did his sister when she married (and
    leyrwite [the fine for immorality by a villein] as well) . There
    can be no doubt that he owed labour services, for he was
    amerced [i.e. fined] from time to time for carrying them
    out with less than proper care. Yet he was an important
    man in the village. Almost certainly he held a full land
    [i.e. full peasant holding] at least. … He was . . . reeve
    in 1310, a chief pledge for a quarter of a century, ale-taster
    more than once, a frequent member of inquest juries. Like
    others of his kind he was a sheep farmer. . . .

    But above all he was a great buyer of land. In 1300
    he bought three-quarters of an acre without licence. A
    charter of 1303 recording the purchase of an unspecified
    parcel from another villein, is still extant. In 1304, he took
    up Northcroft (containing 8J acres) from the prior. In
    1305 he bought 2 acres from the prior’s former bailiff and
    in 1307 a parcel of meadow from a free tenant. … In
    1310 he bought 6 acres of arable for 20 silver marks. . . .
    Such a man was thriving into the yeomanry.’ 1

  4. Howard Edwards says:

    Both links to the New York Times (the one in Andrew’s article and another one in the discussion) ask me to login.

    Is it just me, or do you need to be a subscriber to the NYT to view this?


  5. Grayson Reim says:

    Thank you for posting this. I find Chetty’s work and, more importantly, his novel datasets to be very informative. Perhaps equally important, I find people’s interpretations to be a great way to understand other’s world view.

    Andrew, I don’t imagine you have an opinion about what the dataset does/does not tell us? I found you’re interpretation of the now famous Case & Deaton Deaths of Despair to be good, and, I would have to admit, a corrective to some of my previous views.

  6. Moodey says:

    As someone who is so pedantic about words not being used without backup, I’m amazed you’d link to this piece with a title of “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys.”

    Nice visuals sure, but come on. These visuals don’t even come close to backing up that title. I guess once you’re in your tribe you don’t need backup for that claim; it’s a given.

    • Andrew says:


      Good point. It would be more accurate for the title to say “racial disparity” than “racism.” I was focusing on the graphs, and I hadn’t looked at the title carefully.

      • Moodey says:

        That’s fair. I was probably so focused on the title because I had to try three devices to get past the paywall, and when the paywall was in place all I could see was the title.

    • Curious says:

      This is absolutely a fair title given our prior knowledge of the methods by which black men were systematically excluded from the economy combined with the data presented.

      • Joshua says:

        Nah. It’s probably just a coincidence that hundreds of years of systematic exclusion from the economy would line up with poorer economic outcomes for black males.

        If you weren’t in the “tribe” you’d be able to see that.

        • Moodey says:

          Your terms are poorly defined and you’re using a motte-and-bailey argument. Can you figure out what is poorly defined and what the motte/bailey are without me spoon feeding it to you? Probably not, because you (and curious) are idiots. Go get a humanities degree and live in that already ruined world. You’ll get along just fine, believe me. The stats world still has hope and can do without you.

  7. Andre says:

    Cool, thank you for sharing. Great visualizations. Other commenters are not me posting anonymously.

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