Twenty-five years ago, qualitative researchers at John Hopkins University began following a group of 800 first-graders in Baltimore, Maryland. By conducting frequent interviews with the children and their families from first grade through adulthood, Karl Alexander and his team of researchers were able to map the socioeconomic trajectories of their young subjects.

A family’s resources and the doors they open cast a long shadow over children’s life trajectories. This view is at odds with the popular ethos that we are makers of our own fortune.”

The study’s findings contradict the long-held American ideology of rugged individualism – the belief that we are makers of our own fortune – by clearly showing that a child’s life trajectory is almost entirely determined by the resources of the family he or she is born into. Among the study’s findings, most sobering are the absence of children from low-income families in higher education and the disparity along racial lines of job opportunities for low-income men, with white men being employed at a rate 3 times that of their black counterparts.

Click here to read more about the study, or dive into the details of the findings in Alexander’s book, The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood.

Digital Dollars 2014

After less than a decade of existence, smartphones and tablets this year will draw more money from advertisers than the centuries-old newspaper industry or the nearly century-old radio sector, a sign of just how rapidly technology is transforming media habits.

But given how much time Americans spend on their devices, mobile-ad spending could be much higher, an indication that marketers remain uncertain about the medium’s effectiveness. Research firm eMarketer estimates that spending on mobile advertising, which includes both smartphones and tablets, will soar 83% to nearly $18 billion in 2014.  Read the Full Story on The Wall Street Journal