Differential Opportunity for Men from Low-Income Backgrounds across Pennsylvania
Keywords:Concentrated disadvantage, low income, mobility, opportunity, Pennsylvania, residential contexts
This study examines the place-based differences in opportunity experienced by men from lowincome backgrounds across U.S. and Pennsylvania counties. Our quantitative findings suggest that U.S. and Pennsylvania counties are very unequal in terms of how men raised in low-income families fare in adulthood on measures of upward mobility, household income, college graduation, incarceration, and marriage. A variety of county-level measures of concentrated disadvantage were associated with these outcomes, including county household income, poverty rate, degree of racial segregation, college graduation rate, single parenthood rate, social capital rate, and job growth rate. Additionally, anonymous qualitative data from phone interviews with county commissioners from some of the Pennsylvania counties that struggled the most in our analysis helped to confirm our findings with valuable on-the-ground perspectives. We discuss these findings and their implications for equality of opportunity in the U.S. and the state of Pennsylvania.