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.
"The SOI Databank: A case study in leveraging administrative data in support of evidence-based policymaking," w/ Raj Chetty, Emmanuel Saez, and Danny Yagan. Statistical Journal of the IAOS, Vol. 34 (1), pp. 99-103 (2018).
"The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility," w/ Raj Chetty, Nathan Hendren, Maggie R. Jones, and Sonya R. Porter. NBER Working Paper Series, no. 25147, 10/01/2018, Non-Peer Reviewed, In Revision.
“Identification and Inference with Many Invalid Instruments” w/ Michal Kolesar, Raj Chetty, Edward L. Glaeser and Guido W. Imbens (2013) Revise and resubmit at JBES
“Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Estimating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates.” w/ Raj Chetty and Jonah Rockoff
American Economic Review, Vol. 104 (9), pp. 2593-2632 (2014)
“Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood.” w/ Raj Chetty and Jonah Rockoff
American Economic Review, Vol. 104 (9), pp. 2633-2679 (2014)
“Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowd-Out in Retirement Savings: Evidence from Denmark” w/ Raj Chetty, Soren Leth-Petersen, Torben H. Nielsen, and Tore Olsen. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 129(3), (2014)
“Using Differences in Knowledge Across Neighborhood to Uncover the Impacts of the EITC on Earnings” w/ Raj Chetty and Emmanuel Saez. American Economic Review, Vol. 103 (7), pp. 2683-2721 (2013)
"How Does Your Kindergarten Class Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project STAR" w/ Raj Chetty, Nate Hilger, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Schanzenbach, and Danny Yagan. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 126 (4), pp. 1593-1660 (2011)
“Adjustment Costs, Firm Responses, and Labor Supply Elasticities: Evidence from Denmark” w/ Raj Chetty, Tore Olsen, and Luigi Pistaferri. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 126 (2), pp. 749-804 (2011)
MPA 2455 Statistics for Public Policy
Talks & Media
Are America's colleges promoting social mobility? - APM Reports
America, Land of Equal Opportunity? Still Not There - Bloomberg
The Ivy League Students Least Likely to Get Married - The Upshot
Higher Ed and the American Dream - Inside Higher Ed
Top public universities are shutting out poor students, report says - Washington Post
November 4, 2019
This piece mentions that John Friedman, professor of economics and international and public affairs, worked in collaboration with Raj Chetty to create Opportunity Insights - an institute aimed at making success and social mobility a widespread and equal possibility across America.
October 17, 2019
John Friedman cited in ProPublica, "It highlighted a 2013 study by Brown University professor John Friedman, a former Obama National Economic Council official, to make the point that the program had been successful in generating “Free Tax Returns Outside of Free File.”
October 3, 2019
Naples Daily News
This opinion piece mentions that John Friedman, professor of economics and international and public affairs, contributed to research that used artificial intelligence to track large groups of people and determine the outcomes in their participation in various welfare programs.
August 6, 2019
Center for American Progress
Research from John Friedman's Opportunity Atlas is cited. "Using data taken from the Opportunity Atlas—a collaboration between the U.S. Census Bureau, Harvard University, and Brown University that provides data on economic mobility throughout the country—one can see that the South has the lowest level of economic mobility for all demographics."
June 5, 2019
Economist John Friedman comments on the plans Democratic presidential hopefuls have for education, saying "There's definitely been a turn against a set of ideas in education that we've been championing as effective."
May 20, 2019
The New York Times
Economist John Friedman comments on the SAT test's new adversity rating, saying "For each extra year you spend in a good environment, you do a little better. It’s very powerful when somebody overcomes that."
April 26, 2019
The Washington Post
Economist John Friedman comments on how the recent college admissions scandal highlights the advantages some wealthy families have in the college admissions process. "The American Dream has been distressingly out of reach for a lot of people...The disparities in access are really quite striking."
Mar 7, 2018
Reaffirming University Values Lecture Series
5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Joukowsky Forum