Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs
Chair of the Economics Department
Areas of Interest: Public Economics and Political Economy
John N. Friedman is a Professor of Economics at Brown University, as well as a founding co-Director of Opportunity Insights. His studies the causes and consequences of inequality for kids, as well as policies to improve opportunity for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. His work has appeared in top academic journals as well as in major media outlets, has been cited by President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union Address, and has shaped policies at the federal, state, and local level. Most recently, John and his colleagues at Opportunity Insights have published the Economic Tracker, providing the most granular and real-time look at how COVID-19 is affecting the economy in cities and states across America. He worked as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council in the White House. He is also a Research Associate at NBER and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Economics. In July, he will become Chair of the Brown University Economic Department.
Friedman's research brings together theory and data, harnessing the power of large administrative datasets to yield policy-relevant insights on a wide range of topics, including taxation, healthcare, and education quality. His work has appeared in top academic journals as well as in major media outlets.
Real-time economics: A new platform to track the impacts of COVID-19 on people, businesses, and communities using private sector data NBER Working paper (2020)
The opportunity atlas: Mapping the childhood roots of social mobility National Bureau of Economic Research (2018)
The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility NBER (2018)