John N. Friedman is a professor of economics and international affairs and public policy at Brown University. He is also a founding co-director of Opportunity Insights at Harvard University, a research and policy institute using big data to understand the forces influencing upward mobility and develop scalable policy solution to increase it. Friedman's research has yielded policy-relevant insights on a wide range of topics, including education access and quality, taxation, healthcare, and data privacy. His work has appeared in top academic journals as well as in major media outlets. His most well-known papers estimate the effects of childhood influences (including neighborhoods, teacher and education quality, and access to higher education) on long-term outcomes such as earnings and incarceration. Friedman served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council in the White House from 2013-2014. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Co-Editor of the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. Friedman combines economics, big data, and public policy to understand why some children rise out of poverty and some do not.
In this episode, John Friedman discusses his research, which combines economics, big data, and public policy to understand why some children rise out of poverty and some do not. He’s particularly interested in measuring upward mobility - or what we call “the American Dream”- whether low income children grow up to earn more than their parents. His research is designed to inform powerful policy changes across the country, in specific neighborhoods, and on college campuses.
NEW! The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility