Robert J. Sampson is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard and Director of the Boston Area Research Initiative at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, he received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2011. Sampson’s research focuses on urban inequality, crime, the life course, human and social capital, and the social structure of the contemporary city. He is the author of numerous journal articles and three award-winning books. His most recent book—Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect—was published by the University of Chicago Press and received the 2014 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association.

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Linking Individual and Community Economic Mobility: The Spatial Foundations of Persistent Inequality in the United States

Paper Conference paper | | Apr 2015

Considerable academic and public attention has been drawn to the pulling away of the very rich—the so-called “one percent” whose gains have far outpaced those of everyone else (Piketty 2014). But the debate has reached well beyond the very top, especially in the United States.Indeed, the hollowing out of the middle class, continuing stagnation of wages, and new evidence on the lack of upward mobility across generations all strike at the very heart of the American ideal.