Must-Read: Matt Bruenig: The Success Sequence Is Extremely Misleading And Impossible To Code: “The “Success Sequence” is explained most recently as…

…(1) Graduate from high school; (2) Maintain a full-time job or have a partner who does; and (3) Have children while married and after age 21, should they choose to become parents. Together, this is supposed to keep your risk of poverty very low. Last week I pointed out that rule (2) is doing basically all of the work in the 2007 dataset that Sawhill and Haskins used….
Efforts to replicate their norm groupings were a total failure…. Nonetheless, because I have isolated the overall population Sawhill/Haskins is working with, I am able to do some fun calculations of my own…. First, if you take… families whose head meets the full-time work definition… that alone gets you almost entirely to the low-poverty conclusion… a poverty rate of 4%…. [Add] high school education or greater (which is 2 of the norms), you get a poverty rate of 2.7%…. just 0.7 percentage points shy of the Sawhill/Haskins 3-norm poverty rate.
Full-time work gets you the vast majority of the way to the low-poverty conclusion and then high-school education gets you basically right up to it. Bringing in the marriage and child-delay stuff is totally unnecessary and then can’t even be properly identified in the data. Adding a condition that does basically no work for your conclusion that you can’t even identify is utterly baffling…
http://mattbruenig.com/2015/08/12/the-success-sequence-is-extremely-misleading-and-impossible-to-code/