Brookings Mountain West
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A stronger middle class is important for the economic and political future of both cities and nations. Analyses focusing on the size of the middle class can be misleading, providing information on income inequality or temporary economic conditions. More important than the size of the middle class is the quality of life of the middle class. Higher education can serve students from middle-class backgrounds, helping them sustain a middle-class standard of living and rise up the economic ladder, as well as providing “on ramps” to the middle class for those from low-income backgrounds. We show that middle class wage earners bore the brunt of the Great Recession in Las Vegas. Using a new metric of mobility based on data from Opportunity Insights (formerly the Equality of Opportunity Project), we also examine the contribution of colleges in the Mountain West to serving and strengthening the middle class.
Mountain West; Middle Class; Colleges; Las Vegas; Income; Mobility; Income inequality; Social mobility
Economics | Higher Education | Income Distribution | Public Affairs
Making a Middle Class: Colleges and Cities in the Mountain West.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/brookings_pubs/54