Expert Profile

Erin Currier

Director, Economic Mobility
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Erin Currier is the director of economic mobility at Pew. She oversees Pew’s efforts to build broad and nonpartisan agreement on the facts and figures related to mobility and to spark an active debate on how best to improve opportunity in America.

As the lead on Pew’s ongoing research into the status of the American Dream, Currier works with top experts in the field and oversees the project team on its comprehensive research agenda. She has testified before state legislatures, spoken about mobility at conferences across the country, and conducted interviews on national television and radio news programs and with top print publications.

Prior to her current position, Currier served as the acting CEO at Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment. In this role, she oversaw the organization’s federal advocacy efforts to promote women’s and families’ economic security and coordinated all programmatic work among a national network of service providers. She spearheaded Women Work!’s sectoral training project that provided technical implementation assistance to the providers and participated in the Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy Fellowship.

Currier has a bachelor’s degree in English and sociology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public policy and women’s studies from George Washington University.

 

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Reports & Publications

July 9, 2012

Pursuing the American Dream: Economic Mobility Across Generations

Pursuing the American Dream uses the most current data to measure mobility by family income, wealth, and personal earnings to reveal how closely tied a person’s place on the economic ladder is to that of his or her parents’.

March 21, 2012

Examining Economic Mobility and the American Dream Across Demographics

In the wake of the Great Recession, the Economic Mobility Project updated its 2009 national poll to reassess public perceptions of economic mobility and the American Dream.

December 16, 2011

Housing Wealth and Higher Education: Building a Foundation for Economic Mobility

Through nonpartisan research on the facts and drivers of economic mobility, the Economic Mobility Project is fostering an informed discussion about the health and status of the American Dream.

November 17, 2011

Does America Promote Economic Mobility As Well As Other Nations?

This fact sheet previews selected key findings from a multi-country study of economic mobility. Researchers in 10 countries investigated how socioeconomic advantage, as measured by parents’ education, is transmitted over the course of one’s life. The results show that in the United States, there is a stronger link between parents’ education and children’s economic, educational, and socio-emotional outcomes than in any other country investigated. 

September 6, 2011

Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream

The idea that children will grow up to be better off than their parents is a central component of the American Dream, and sustains American optimism. However, a new report from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project finds that a middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime.

September 2, 2011

Video: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?

Pew’s Erin Currier discusses the findings of a national poll that assessed the public’s perceptions of economic mobility in the wake of the Great Recession.

August 15, 2011

Video: Economic Mobility & the American Dream

There are two ways of measuring economic mobility: absolute and relative. Each offers an understanding of the health and status of the American Dream; however, neither measure can be taken in isolation for a complete picture of economic mobility in our country. This video animates the difference between these two measures.

 

May 19, 2011

Economic Mobility and the American Dream– Where Do We Stand in the Wake of the Great Recession

A new national poll released by Pew’s Economic Mobility Project, finds that 83 percent of Americans support a government role in promoting upward economic mobility, a sentiment that cuts across party lines. In fact, 58 percent think it could do even more.

September 28, 2010

Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility

Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility is a collaborative effort between Pew’s Economic Mobility Project and its Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP). The report examines the impact of incarceration on the economic opportunity and mobility of former inmates and their families. In addition, Collateral Costs examines the prison population by race/ethnicity and educational levels. It finds that incarceration reduces former inmates’ earnings by 40 percent and limits their future economic mobility and that one in every 28 children in America has a parent behind bars, up from one in 125 just 25 years ago. The report’s findings are based on research by Professor Bruce Western of Harvard University and Professor Becky Pettit of the University of Washington. 

More Reports & Publications

News Room

May 10, 2012

Memo to Would-Be Members of the 1%: Move to the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic

A New York Times' article examining the results of the Economic Mobility Project's state-by-state study of Americans' economic mobility quotes project manager Erin Currier.

May 10, 2012

Study: Economic Mobility Depends on the State You Live In

Erin Currier, manager of the Economic Mobility Project, is quoted in a USA Today article about the results of a state-by-state study of economic mobility in America.

January 26, 2012

Revisiting the American Dream: Is the U.S. Providing Fewer Opportunities to Get Ahead?

A Forbes article on the American Dream cites the work of Pew's Economic Mobility Project.

January 13, 2012

Opinion: Bitter Politics of Envy?

An op-ed appearing in The New York Times about income inequality and corporate greed in the U.S. references reports by the Pew Economic Mobility Project and the Pew Research Center.

December 26, 2011

Opinion: A Brainpower Revolution

An op-ed in the Washington Post about the decline of the U.S. economy references comparative data from the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

December 16, 2011

How President Obama's Economic Message Could Backfire in 2012

An article in The American Prospect evaluating President Obama’s economic message for the next year cites the Pew Economic Mobility Project's study, which polled Americans on their attitudes toward their finances, their economic futures, and the broader economic climate.

December 16, 2011

Do Expensive Homes Make for Wealthy Kids?

An article in U.S. News & World Report about the findings of Pew's Economic Mobility Project's study showing a correlation between the housing boom and education gains for students from low- and middle-income families.

December 16, 2011

Pew Research Uses Housing Boom & Bust to Measure Housing Wealth Impact on College Enrollment and Graduation Rates

Pew’s Economic Mobility Project released a new report, Housing Wealth and Higher Education: Building a Foundation for Economic Mobility, that uses an economic model to assess how changes in housing wealth during the recent boom and bust affected students’ higher education decisions.

November 23, 2011

Opinion: California's Wealth Pyramid

An op-ed appearing in the Los Angeles Times about the current era of widening inequality cites findings from the Economic Mobility Project that the United States actually has less economic mobility than many other industrialized nations.

November 7, 2011

American Dream For Middle Class: Just A Dream?

NPR Weekend Edition host Audie Cornish spoke with Erin Currier, project manager for the Economic Mobility project, about the difficulties that members of the middle class have moving up (or even keeping their current position) the economic ladder.

October 30, 2011

Children of Immigrants Hit an Economic Ceiling

An article from the Los Angeles Times about the economic difficulties facing the children of immigrants includes information from a poll commissioned by the Economic Mobility Project.

September 15, 2011

U.S. median household income falls

A CBS News Report on recent Census figures which found that more Americans find themselves in poverty features analysis from the recent Economic Mobility Project report "Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream" as well as a quote from project manager Erin Currier.

 

September 6, 2011

Pew Finds Many Children Fall Out of the Middle Class as Adults

Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream, a new report from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project, identifies which groups of Americans are falling out of the middle class as adults and considers factors contributing to this trend.

August 15, 2011

Video: Economic Mobility & the American Dream

There are two ways of measuring economic mobility: absolute and relative. Each offers an understanding of the health and status of the American Dream; however, neither measure can be taken in isolation for a complete picture of economic mobility in our country. This video animates the difference between these two measures.

 

May 19, 2011

Public Favors Increased Government Role in Promoting American Dream

A new national poll released today by Pew’s Economic Mobility Project, finds that 83 percent of Americans support a government role in promoting upward economic mobility, a sentiment that cuts across party lines. In fact, 58 percent think it could do even more.

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