Social Policy & Politics Program | Report

Breaking the Mobility Barrier

by Sarah Trumble and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky

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This report looks beyond the economic interventions government must take to help those in the bottom income quintile, which are necessary but nowhere near sufficient to combat America’s mobility crisis. It introduces a fresh perspective that adds another piece to the mobility puzzle. New research in the education sector shows that characteristics like a growth mindset and grit can have a huge impact on whether a person succeeds. This report posits that government programs should aim to channel these characteristics, which we call the “mobility mentality,” and encourage grown-ups to foster this mentality in children, in an effort to better ensure that our country is a place where a person’s status at birth doesn’t determine their lot in life.

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