Does the American Dream Depend on Your Zip Code?
Children's chances of earning more than their parents have fallen from 90 percent to 50 percent over the past half century in America. How can we restore the American Dream of upward mobility for our children? In this talk, Raj Chetty will discuss recent work that he and his colleagues at Opportunity Insights have done to study this question. Among other topics, the talk will show how children's chances of climbing the income ladder vary across neighborhoods, analyze the sources of racial disparities in intergenerational mobility, and discuss the role of higher education in creating greater income mobility. The talk will conclude by discussing how local policymakers can harness big data to increase opportunity in their own communities and institutions.
Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights, which uses "big data" to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding.
Chetty received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, he was a professor at UC-Berkeley and Stanford University. Chetty has received numerous awards for his research, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field.