Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Opportunity in America: Improving Intergenerational Mobility with Big Data

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

Children's opportunities to climb the income ladder vary substantially depending upon where they grow up. But the question remains: what can we do about it? Friedman will discuss how we can use big data to take this next step, using both higher education and place-based policies as examples. In particular, he will demonstrate how big data offers new opportunities for scholars to diagnose problems and develop policies specific to each setting - in effect, precision medicine for social science.

John N. Friedman is an Associate Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs at Brown University, as well as a director of the Equality of Opportunity Project. His research brings together theory and data and harnesses the power of large administrative datasets to yield policy-relevant insights on a wide range of topics, including taxation, education, retirement, and healthcare. His work has appeared in top academic journals as well as in major media outlets, and his work was cited by President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union Address. From 2013-2014, Prof. Friedman worked as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council in the White House. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics, an A.M. in Statistics, and a B.A. in Economics, all from Harvard University. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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