Lee Highlights New Research on the Importance of Social Capital for Upward Mobility
WASHINGTON—Ranking Member Mike Lee (R-UT) released a Joint Economic Committee report today highlighting new research showing the importance of social capital for upward economic mobility.
The landmark study by Opportunity Insights shows that counties where people have more friendships across socioeconomic lines are also counties where lower-income people are more likely to move up the economic ladder.
The Joint Economic Committee’s Social Capital Index validates these findings. Counties with strong social capital as measured by the Social Capital Index—things like strong families and high civic participation—are also counties where people are more connected across socioeconomic lines. Counties that rank high on the Social Capital Index are also more likely to be places with more economic mobility.
The research from Opportunity Insights and the Social Capital Project finds stable, two-parent families and religious participation are two of the most important sources of social capital for advancing economic connection and economic mobility.
Lee said, “Five years ago, I founded the Joint Economic Committee’s Social Capital Project to study the health of America’s families, communities, workplaces, and religious congregations. The latest evidence from Opportunity Insights confirms what JEC research has been showing for years: Strong families and vibrant communities are essential for economic well-being.”