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  1. The Intergenerational Elasticity of What? The Case for Redefining the Workhorse Measure of Economic Mobility

    The intergenerational elasticity (IGE) has been assumed to refer to the expectation of children’s income when in fact it pertains to the geometric mean of children’s income. We show that mobility analyses based on the conventional IGE have been widely misinterpreted, are subject to selection bias, and cannot disentangle the different channels for transmitting economic status across generations. The solution to these problems—estimating the IGE of expected income or earnings—returns the field to what it has long meant to estimate.

  2. Top 10 Downloads from Each ASA Journal

    In 2019, readers downloaded sociological research that spanned a wide range of topics from “Sexual Harassment, Workplace Authority, and the Paradox of Power” (American Sociological Review) to “Rekeying Cultural Scripts for Youth Suicide” (Society and Mental Health) to “The Impact of Racial Diversity in the Classroom” (Teaching Sociology).

    Check out the 10 most downloaded articles from each of ASA's journals.

  3. The Status Dynamics of Role Blurring in the Time of COVID-19

    Has the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic altered the status dynamics of role blurring? Although researchers typically investigate its conflictual aspects, the authors assess if the work-home interface might also be a source of status—and the relevance of schedule control in these processes. Analyzing data from nationally representative samples of workers in September 2019 and March 2020, the authors find that role blurring is associated with elevated status, but the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 weakens that effect.

  4. Retrospective Network Imputation from Life History Data: The Impact of Designs

    Retrospective life history designs are among the few practical approaches for collecting longitudinal network information from large populations, particularly in the context of relationships like sexual partnerships that cannot be measured via digital traces or documentary evidence. While all such designs afford the ability to “peer into the past” vis-à-vis the point of data collection, little is known about the impact of the specific design parameters on the time horizon over which such information is useful.

  5. His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom

    This article advances a couple-level framework to examine how parenthood shapes within-family gender inequality by education in three countries that vary in their normative and policy context: the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We trace mothers’ share of couple earnings and variation by her education in the 10-year window around first birth, using long-running harmonized panel surveys from the 1990s and 2000s (N = 4,117 couples and 28,488 couple-years) and an event study methodology that leverages within-couple variation in earnings pre- and post-birth.

  6. A Numbers Game: Quantification of Work, Auto-Gamification, and Worker Productivity

    Technological advances and the big-data revolution have facilitated fine-grained, high-frequency, low-cost measurement of individuals’ work. Yet we understand little about the influences of such quantification of work on workers’ behavior and performance. This article investigates how and when quantification of work affects worker productivity. We argue that quantification affects worker productivity via auto-gamification, or workers’ inadvertent transformation of work into an independent, individual-level game.

  7. COVID-19 Resources for Sociologists

    Every day we face new challenges related to COVID-19. ASA wants to help sociologists navigate those challenges. We are offering several resources to help sociologists in their work during this period.

    For more sociological perspectives and insights, see ASA's Special Issue of Footnotes on COVID-19.

  8. Where Ivy Matters: The Educational Backgrounds of U.S. Cultural Elites

    Status transmission theory argues that leading educational institutions prepare individuals from privileged backgrounds for positions of prestige and power in their societies. We examine the educational backgrounds of more than 2,900 members of the U.S. cultural elite and compare these backgrounds to a sample of nearly 4,000 business and political leaders. We find that the leading U.S. educational institutions are substantially more important for preparing future members of the cultural elite than they are for preparing future members of the business or political elite.
  9. Workplace Compensation Practices and the Rise in Benefit Inequality

    This article aims to explain why inequality in fringe benefits has grown faster than wage inequality over the past four decades. We depart from previous income inequality research by studying benefits in addition to wages, but also by focusing on workplaces as the main drivers of benefit determination. We advance the argument that benefits determination is more organizationally embedded than wages mainly because workplaces have greater ability and incentive to alter benefits.
  10. From Big to Small Cities: A Qualitative Analysis of the Causes and Outcomes of Post‐Recession Municipal Bankruptcies

    Two cities loom large in the history of American urban restructuring. New York City's 1975 technical bankruptcy and Detroit's 2013 Chapter 9 bankruptcy have played an oversized role in urban theory. This is currently reflected in competing theories of post‐recession urban restructuring. “Austerity urbanism” uses Detroit as an exemplar, whereas “pragmatic municipalism” adopts the converse position arguing post‐recession reform is defined by local context.