Issue Briefs

Hard Research, Easy Reading

About the Issue Briefs

The goal of CSFE Issue Briefs is to provide an accessible educational resource on important issues and fundamental concepts. CSFE Issue Briefs are well grounded in sound scholarship, yet written in plain language for every day readers. Hence the tagline: “Hard Research, Easy Reading.” CSFE distributes the series of issue briefs by email, social media, and its website.


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Volume 1, Issue 1: Why is Economic Mobility So (Surprisingly) Low in North Carolina?

The odds of climbing up the economic ladder, otherwise known as economic mobility, differs quite dramatically depending on where one lives. In the South, economic mobility is far lower, and North Carolina suffers from some of the worst economic mobility in the nation. Cities like Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro are leaving some of their poorest residents behind, despite strong economic growth. This paper details the way a new research center at Winston-Salem State University is taking an alternative approach to poverty, using researchers from multiple disciplines. Highlighted is the need to explore initiatives that create wins for business, residents and government in order to overcome stymied public policies that pit one group against another. The center’s research on public transit riders’ economic mobility yields surprising findings about the high opportunity costs of their commutes, which has never been measured before. This approach may serve as a blueprint for other cities coping with low economic mobility.