Skip to main content

Educational Trends Within Under-35 Wealth Quintiles

Last week, with much help from Matt Bruenig, I wrote a post using microdata analysis of the 1989 Survey of Consumer Finances. Since I have the script, I figure I might as well make full use of it, both for practice and to see what I can find.

So for a start, here are some time series trends for educational attainment within income quintiles for under-35 families. Basically what we're doing here is breaking the under-35 population into fifths based on their wealth, determining the educational background of each fifth, and plotting the change over time using the SCF surveys, which are done every three years. (This starts at 1989 and runs through 2013, the most recent survey.)

I bet there is a way to cram all this into one graph, but for the time being here are some simple line charts for each income quintile.





A few things jump out here. The education level of the top wealth quintile is increasing over time, which makes intuitive sense. 

But surely most striking is the high level of education in the bottom quintile. This group is not the least educated, and its education level has increased over time. The share of people with any grad school education and up has doubled for this group, and the share of college graduates has nearly tripled. Interestingly, in the 2013 survey the quintile with the absolute lowest share of less-than-high-school educated families (with 3.3 percent) is the bottom one. 

As I argued in my previous post, wealth at a young age is not a great proxy for overall economic class, because a substantial number of future rich people will appear wealth-poor due to taking out loans for education and not having inherited yet. The wealth brackets for the bottom quintile will probably be massively negative (more on this later), and most high school dropouts will not have the credit rating to take on that kind of debt.

Not much is going in with the middle charts, but it's still kind of interesting to see.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

The Basic Instinct of Socialism

This year I finally decided to stop beating around the bush and start calling myself a democratic socialist. I think the reason for the long hesitation is the very long record of horrifying atrocities carried out by self-described socialist countries. Of course, there is no social system that doesn't have a long, bloody rap sheet, capitalism very much included . But I've never described myself as a capitalist either, and the whole point of socialism is that it's supposed to be better than that. So of course I cannot be a tankie — Stalin and Mao were evil, terrible butchers, some of the worst people who ever lived. There are two basic lessons to be learned from the failures of Soviet and Chinese Communism, I think. One is that Marxism-Leninism is not a just or workable system. One cannot simply skip over capitalist development, and any socialist project must be democratic and preserve basic liberal freedoms. The second, perhaps more profound lesson, is that there is no s

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves tha