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Unequal Chances:
Family Background and Economic Success
Edited by Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis, & Melissa Osborne Groves

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Unequal Chances collects important essays on the determinants of lifetime inequality. It changes the way we think about American society."--James J. Heckman, Nobel Prize-winning economist

"In analyzing the persistence of economic inequality between generations, the authors of this book make major advances. They add to the literature demonstrating that this persistence is much stronger than has often been supposed, and they further challenge the conventional wisdom in emphasising the importance of the intergenerational transmission of noncognitive attributes."--John Goldthorpe, University of Oxford

"America believes that we both have adequate social mobility and that it reflects a social Darwinism of just rewards. This powerful collection punctures both assumptions. Forty years after John Kennedy courageously pointed to the unfair inheritance of both wealth and poverty in America, this rigorous analysis demonstrates that parents' wealth, race, and schooling are ever more determinant of life chances. We can only hope that moral and policy judgments will be informed and inspired by this work."--Anthony Marx, president of Amherst College

"This book takes a first cut at bringing together the many pieces of the complex puzzle of economic opportunity in market societies. This is a very important topic, and the book reaches into several disciplines to gain perspective. It is well timed, well conceived, and well executed; it makes for a great read. In addition, many of the pieces draw on multiple data sources to gain a broader picture. This makes the contributions, both individually and collectively, not only excellent pieces of scholarship but different from the normal journal fare."--Martina Morris, University of Washington, coauthor of Divergent Paths

"A consensus has emerged of late that the correlation between economic origins and destinations is higher than scholars used to think it was--maybe more than twice as high. The scholars contributing to this volume did the research that forged the new consensus. Bringing their work together in a systematic way is a service to the research community and the public. "--Michael Hout, University of California, Berkeley, coauthor of Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth

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File created: 4/17/2014

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