Upward Mobility Correlates to Walk Score

New data supports Paul Krugman's contention that sprawl inhibits the American Dream.

"The Equality of Opportunity Project’s recent study of intergenerational mobility showed a marked division between areas of the country with high vs. low mobility rates. Although their study was not a place-based analysis, there seemed to be a clear spatial pattern across the US. Paul Krugman postulated that there was some relationship with suburban sprawl – i.e., that sprawl was somehow to blame for low social mobility. The idea is that being poor in a non-accessible neighborhood accentuates the jobs-housing mismatch and compounds the difficulty for low-income households to access jobs and experience income mobility," write Emily Talen and Julia Koschinsky.

"To look more closely at the possible connection between mobility and sprawl, we compared the mobility rates used in the study to a measure of neighborhood access. We hypothesized that places with low mobility would correlate with places with low accessibility. We used low accessibility – based on distance to amenities like grocery stores, retail and schools – as a proxy for suburban sprawl. Our results lend support to Dr. Krugman’s hypothesis."

Full Story: Intergenerational mobility vs. sprawl: Is there a connection?


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