In my last post I briefly touched upon economic mobility vis-a-vis the link between test scores and subsequent adult incomes. Because these individuals were still pretty young, just a few years out of college (if they graduated), the earnings correlations were weaker than one might have expected. Since then I discovered an interesting continuous SES variable (F3SES) in the ELS:2002 data set that is probably a better measure of future earnings or mobility.
F3SES is the average of 3 inputs (2011 earnings from employment, the prestige score associated with the respondents current/most recent job, and educational attainment), each of which is standardized to a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1 prior to averaging.
Data users should note that, as of the third follow-up, socioeconomic status may be less-than fully stable for some third follow-up respondents, e.g., respondents with graduate-level education who are just beginning or have yet to begin their careers. Users should also note that F3SES does not account for the income, occupation, or education of the respondents spouse/partner, and therefore may not be fully indicative of household socioeconomic status as of the third follow-up.
NOTE: While the two versions of the BY family SES composites (BYSES1 and BYSES2) were created by differential assignment of prestige scores based on the 16-category BY occupation variables, F3SES is created by assigning prestige scores based on the 2-digit ONET code associated with the respondents current/most recent job as of the third follow-up.
While I am sure I could derive my own formula to produce a similar composite score, I’ll just use theirs for the time being.
There is no statistically significance difference between blacks and whites here.
Asian SES is higher than white SES for most of the distribution, but that’s not statistically significant either.
I have long been of the impression that most of the gender gap in academic achievement is skewed towards lower SES groups and URMs, that much of it has much to do with a comparative lack of male engagement in primary and secondary school, especially with respect to home work compliance, so I decided to exploit my prior efforts to try to assess the accuracy of this view. Of course this data isn’t broken out by race or SES per se, but the right side on the x-axis is generally higher SES and more white and asian (whereas the left side is generally more black and latino and generally lower SES).