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Brookings Mountain West


Upward economic and social mobility is an intrinsic element of American society. Data from the Equality of Opportunity Project (EOP) demonstrates that upward mobility is a critical issue for our nation’s metros. An analysis of Mountain West metros and the performances of colleges and universities in this region reveal how the differing economic, demographic, and social characteristics affect mobility. This brief explores upward mobility rates, measures of diversity, levels of domestic and foreign migration, and students’ family household income and their eventual individual incomes. The comparison of postsecondary institutions in Mountain West metros serves as a microcosm to better understand how metros and their universities can best serve our nation’s ever diversifying population.


Economics | Higher Education

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Richard V. Reeves, is a senior fellow in Economic Studies and co-director of the Center on Children and Families. His research focuses on social mobility, inequality, and family change. Prior to joining Brookings in 2013, he was director of strategy to the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister. Richard’s publications for Brookings include his latest book Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It (2017), Time for Justice: Tackling Race Inequalities in Health and Housing (2017), Ulysses Goes to Washington: Political Myopia and Policy Commitment Devices (2015), Saving Horatio Alger: Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream (2014), Character and Opportunity (2014), and The Parenting Gap (2014). He is also a contributor to The Atlantic, National Affairs, Democracy Journal, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Richard is also the author of John Stuart Mill – Victorian Firebrand, an intellectual biography of the British liberal philosopher and politician.

In September 2017, Politicomagazine named Richard one of the top 50 thinkers in the U.S. for his work on class and inequality. He is a member of the Government of Canada's Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty, and also teaches at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Richard’s previous roles include: director of Demos, the London-based political think-tank; director of futures at the Work Foundation; principal policy advisor to the Minister for Welfare Reform; social affairs editor of the The Observer; research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research; economics correspondent for The Guardian; and a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. Richard has a B.A. from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Warwick University.