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)
September 9, 2022
Professor of Economics John Friedman comments for Forbes on the lingering practices and policies that prevent students from accessing a great public education.
September 1, 2022
The New York Times
In this opinion piece for the New York Times, Chair of Economics John Friedman argues that big data and education reforms can help shape children's trajectories long-term.
October 22, 2021
This article cites Opportunity Insights, a project led by John Friedman, in reference to low employment levels as of mid-August 2021 for individuals who make less than $27,000 per year.
September 22, 2021
"You have to think about how it's playing out across distribution - who has recovered, who may actually be doing better than before, and who is still suffering," said John Friedman on the post-pandemic economy.
August 17, 2021
This article cites John Friedman, co-director of Opportunity Insights, on the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. employment.
August 2, 2021
In this video, Shalinee Sharma references John Friedman and the Opportunity Insights team.
June 18, 2021
Foundation for Economic Education
This article draws on data from Opportunity Insights, co-directed by John Friedman.
May 28, 2022
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. 85 Waterman Street, Room 130
Jun 2, 2021