New Report: How Context and Decisions Can Affect Economic Mobility and Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Posted by Urban Institute on May 3, 2022

In a recent report published by The Urban Institute, researchers from Child Trends and the Urban Institute detail the findings of their study on how structural factors influence adolescents and the long-term adult outcomes of “crossroads moments.” Using the Social Genome Model to project how changes can affect well-being later in life, researchers explored “the costs of structural racism for Black and Hispanic people; the potential benefits of criminal justice reform for young Black men; the benefits of improving the quality of low-wage jobs for young adults; and the benefits of expanding various programs proven to improve schools, increase the attainment of educational degrees and provide job training to workers.” They conducted eight virtual simulations; the results from those simulations show that, along with the high cost of structural racism, “people who benefit directly from changes at crossroads moments can experience substantial increases in lifetime earnings.” Changes to policies, programs, and practices allow for the equitable opportunity for better life outcomes.

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