Skip to main content

Research Archive

Welcome to Our Research Archive

Search and filter by content type, issue area, author, and keyword

August 1, 2023

How the Middle Class Is Faring: My Long-Read Q&A with Jeremy Horpedahl

Does the typical American family today enjoy better living standards compared to 1985? We may have bigger TVs in our living rooms and smartphones in our pockets, but a recent report from Washington, DC, think tank the American Compass suggests the cost of a thriving, middle-class lifestyle has risen over the past generation. To discuss what that…

June 22, 2023

The Cost of Thriving Has Fallen: Correcting and Rejecting the American Compass Cost-of-Thriving Index

AbstractThe Cost-of-Thriving Index (COTI), developed by American Compass Executive Director Oren Cass, asks whether families can afford a middle-class lifestyle. It compares the costs of five goods and services to the income of a typical full-time male earner. Cass concludes that the cost of thriving has increased dramatically, from 40 weeks of work in 1985…

May 12, 2023

Changing Narratives on Family Affordability with Angela Rachidi

On this episode of The Archbridge Podcast, co-hosts Ben Wilterdink and Clay Routledge invite AEI’s Angela Rachidi to discuss her recent report, The Evidence on Family Affordability. Rachidi’s report found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, it has not become much more difficult to afford a family on a middle-class income, and that changes in family structure…

April 28, 2023

The Evidence on Family Affordability

Key Points