"Race and Economic Opportunity in America: New Lessons from Big Data"
Racial disparities are among the most visible and persistent features of American society. These lectures will present new evidence on the sources of racial disparities by using newly available data sources covering nearly the entire U.S. population. The first lecture ("The Intergenerational Persistence of Racial Disparities") will show how rates of upward income mobility vary by race -- generating disparities that can persist across generations -- and investigate factors that drive these disparities. The second lecture ("Neighborhood Effects: Childhood Environment and Upward Mobility") will show how children’s opportunities to climb the income ladder vary substantially depending upon the neighborhood in which they grow up and will use this geographic variation as a lens to understand environmental determinants of racial disparities. The lectures will conclude by discussing potential policy solutions and directions for further work, drawing more broadly upon lessons from the Equality of Opportunity Project.
Raj Chetty is a Professor of Economics at Stanford University. Chetty's research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on tax policy, unemployment insurance, and education has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony. His current research focuses on equality of opportunity: how can we give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding?
Chetty is a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003 at the age of 23 and was a professor at UC-Berkeley until 2009, when he returned to Harvard as one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history. Chetty moved to the Department of Economics at Stanford in 2015.
- Prudence Carter is Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. As a sociologist, Carter researches causes of and solutions to enduring social and cultural inequalities among social groups, especially in education and schools. Her expertise spans issues of youth identity and educational well-being; urban poverty; social and cultural inequality, and the sociocultural and organizational contexts of schools. Carter is a member of the National Academy of Education, the Sociological Research Association, and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). She is the program chair of the Board of Trustees for the William T. Grant Foundation.
- William Galston is the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair and Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program. Prior to January 2006, he was the Saul Stern Professor and Acting Dean at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, and founding director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Galston was Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy from 1993 to 1995. Galston is a winner of the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book is Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy (Yale, 2018).
- James Heckman is the Henry Shultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago. He works to understanding the origins of inequality, social mobility, and the formation of skills and regulation in labor markets, as well as to devising and applying empirical strategies for addressing these questions. Heckman has published over 300 articles and 9 books. Heckman has received the Nobel Prize in Economics, the John Bates Clark Medal, the Jacob Mincer Award, the Dennis Aigner Award, the Ulysses Medal, the Theodore W. Schultz Award, the Frisch Medal, the Dan David Prize, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.
- William Julius Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard. A recipient of the 1998 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor bestowed in the United States, Wilson was a MacArthur Prize Fellow from 1987 to 1992; past President of the American Sociological Association; and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, and the British Academy. He won the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award by the American Sociological Association.