James Pethokoukas writes at AEI:
Recent attention — thanks in good part to the 2016 elections — on inequality and mobility issues has focused on America’s “left behind” Appalachian and Rust Belt regions, such as depicted in “Hillbilly Elegy“. A couple of recent Economic Innovation Group reports add context.
One illustrated the lopsided nature of the post-recession recovery, finding that (a) 20 counties alone generated half of the country’s new business establishments, and (b) only 15 large counties enjoyed their strongest recovery in the 2010s. A more recent analysis — based in part on data from Harvard’s Equality of Opportunity Project — finds 51% U.S. counties home to 60% of kids exert “a negative impact on children’s future earnings.” As that report concludes, “Most children in the United States are growing up today in counties with a poor record of fostering upward mobility. As the geography of U.S. economic growth narrows, it may become even harder to prevent further retreat of economic mobility”.