Intergenerational Economic Mobility Between Mothers and Children: Racial and Ethnic Disparities. By: Lee, Jaewon; Sun, Fei. Family Relations. Dec2020, Vol. 69 Issue 5, p921-933. 13p.

Objectives: This study focuses on the impact of race and ethnicity on intergenerational mobility between mothers and children.

Background: Most studies have examined intergenerational mobility between fathers and their children. Racial and ethnic disparities might explain the high rates of intergenerational inequality in mobility.

Methods: The current study used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 for Children and Young Adults. The two data sets were merged based on mother and child’s identification number. The final sample consisted of 1,245 non‐Black/non‐Hispanic, 740 Black, and 538 Hispanic dyads. Multiple linear regression and logistic regression analyses were conducted.

Results: There are ethnic and racial disparities in net worth and poverty among mothers. Black and Hispanic mothers were less likely to accumulate net worth compared with non‐Black/non‐Hispanic mothers, and they were also at greater risk of being in poverty compared with non‐Black/non‐Hispanic mothers. For intergenerational economic mobility, net worth and not living in poverty across mothers were associated with higher income among young adult children. Black race moderated the relationship between maternal net worth and young adult children’s income.

Conclusion: A new perspective is necessary to explore intergenerational economic mobility, considering relations between mothers and children rather than fathers and children.

Implications: Eliminating discrimination in the labor market is critical to addressing racial and ethnic disparities in economic resources. Service programs to help Black women with children to save money or increase their job opportunities should be in place to improve their potential for upward economic mobility across generations.