The Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute was established in January 2017 with the goal, as Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said, “To conduct and promote research that will increase economic opportunity and inclusive growth for all Americans and help the Federal Reserve achieve its maximum employment mandate.”
Kashkari was driven by the contradictions he saw in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, particularly in Minnesota. On the one hand, the Minneapolis Fed region has a remarkably diverse economy and some of the highest educational achievement in the nation. On the other hand, it has some of the nation’s worst racial and economic disparities. And other economic challenges exist in rural areas and Indian Country, from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Montana.
How do we create a robust, growing economy that includes all Americans in the context of globalization and ongoing technological change? How do we ensure that all Americans have genuine economic opportunity for themselves and their families?
Those are some of the questions that Institute visiting scholars and researchers address, with the hope of informing the public and guiding policymakers. These questions are of equal importance inside and outside the Minneapolis Fed’s district and, so, the Institute collaborates with scholars across the country and internationally, and we seek to widely communicate research findings. The goal: to have an impact by helping all Americans have real economic opportunity and participate in a growing economy.
To lead this effort, labor economist Abigail Wozniak joined the Bank as the Institute’s first director in February 2019 with a vision to build on the Institute’s foundation.