Organizational Populations and Social Mobility Regimes: A Comparison of Working Class Neighborhoods in Chicago and Seattle

Erin Eife
Amy K. Bailey, University of Illinois at Chicago
Kobie Price, University of Illinois at Chicago

We examine how the dynamics of local community-based organizations and governance structures might also affect opportunities for social mobility. Chicago and Seattle vary substantially in the openness of their social mobility regimes, as well as key social dimensions like racial residential segregation and social capital (Chetty et. al. 2014). We use working class communities in the Seattle and Chicago metropolitan areas for a comparative case study. Because we are focused on community-based organizations, we use data from the Internal Revenue Service to examine the characteristics of non-profits within our geographic areas of interest, along with key organizational information, like time since founding, category of non-profit, and annual revenue. Our preliminary findings are consistent with our hypothesis that organizational structures may be linked to differences in rates of social mobility. Seattle has more non-profit organizations per capita both generally and for youth, higher earning organizations, and older and more established organizations.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality