We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Find using OpenURL

Upward Wealth Mobility: Exploring the Roman Catholic Advantage

From: Social Forces
Volume 85, Number 3, March 2007
pp. 1195-1225 | 10.1353/sof.2007.0044


Wealth inequality is among the most extreme forms of stratification in the United States, and upward wealth mobility is not common. Yet mobility is possible, and this paper takes advantage of trends among a unique group to explore the processes that generate mobility. I show that non-Hispanic whites raised in Roman Catholic families have been upwardly mobile in the wealth distribution in recent decades, and I find that unique fertility, marriage and education patterns contributed to this change. I also show that Catholic values related to work and money contributed to relatively high saving and portfolio behavior that facilitated mobility. The results provide important insight into the process by which childhood experiences shape adult well-being, particularly adult wealth ownership. The findings also contribute to understanding of social inequality by identifying important behaviors and processes that facilitate mobility.

You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.


Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.