Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute
The mission of the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute is to conduct and promote research that will increase economic opportunity and inclusive growth and help the Federal Reserve achieve its maximum employment mandate.
The Institute is a new Federal Reserve initiative aimed at conducting world-class research to measure, analyze and make recommendations to improve the economic well-being of all Americans, with a particular focus on structural barriers that limit full participation in economic opportunity and advancement in the United States. This effort will be based at the Minneapolis Fed but is designed to engage a broad range of scholars. The Institute will look beyond aggregate economic indicators in order to examine how national policies impact diverse communities of people within the U.S. economy. Such scholarship will allow the Federal Reserve System to better achieve one of its primary missions—maximum employment—and generate important new insights for other policymakers and the public.
The Institute will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach that includes the participation of leading academics from a variety of fields, including economics, education, law, public health, public policy, and sociology.
A distinguished group of academics have joined the Board of Advisors to help launch the Institute. Board members will help the Institute by identifying topics where the Federal Reserve System can make a significant contribution and by recruiting Visiting Scholars. In the future, the Board’s support will grow and adjust according to the needs of the Institute and the direction of developing scholarship.
David Autor is a professor and associate department head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics. He is also the director of the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, a research program based in the MIT Department of Economics. SEII focuses on the economics of education and the connections between human capital and the American income distribution. Autor is a faculty research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and editor in chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and has served on the board of editors at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and the Journal of Labor Economics.
Marianne Bertrand is the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and the Institute for the Study of Labor. Bertrand is an applied microeconomist whose research covers the fields of labor economics, corporate finance, and development economics. She is co-director of Chicago Booth's Social Enterprise Initiative and director of the Poverty Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Bertrand serves as co-editor of the American Economic Review.
Raj Chetty is a professor of economics at Stanford University. Chetty's research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on tax policy, unemployment insurance, and education has been widely cited in media outlets and congressional testimony. His current research focuses on equality of opportunity: How can we give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding? Chetty is a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40.
Lisa D. Cook is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and in International Relations at Michigan State University. She was a national fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, on faculty at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and deputy director for Africa Research and Programs at Harvard’s Center for International Development.
Among her current research interests are economic growth and development, financial institutions and markets, innovation, and economic history.
From 2011 to 2012, she was a senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and served as president of the National Economic Association from 2015 to 2016. She is currently director of the American Economic Association Summer Training Program and a Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer.
Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the co-director of Princeton's Center for Health and Wellbeing. She also co-directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is on the board of reviewing editors of Science and has served as the editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Her research focuses on health and wellbeing, especially of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in health and access to health care, environmental threats to health, and mental health.
William A. ("Sandy") Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Darity's research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.
Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. In her research, she seeks to understand the economic lives of the poor, with the aim to help design and evaluate social policies. With Abhijit Banerjee, she wrote Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, which won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011 and has been translated into 17 languages.
Kathryn Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology, Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, at Johns Hopkins. Edin has taught at Harvard University as a professor of public policy and management at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she chaired their Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. She is a member of the Department of Health and Human Services advisory committee for the poverty research centers at Michigan, Wisconsin, and Stanford. Edin is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation–funded Network on Housing and Families with Young Children and a past member of the MacArthur Network on the Family and the Economy.
Philip Jefferson, a former research economist at the Federal Reserve Board, teaches courses on econometrics and poverty and inequality at Swarthmore College. His recent research has delved into issues such as the role of education as a buffer against unemployment, the effect of business cycles on poverty rates, and the distribution of income between labor and capital. Jefferson provides expert commentary on the Federal Reserve and the monetary policymaking process. Jefferson has held visiting appointments at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the University of California. Before coming to Swarthmore in 1997, he taught at Columbia University and the University of Virginia.
Greg Kaplan is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. His research spans macroeonomics, labor economics, and applied microeconomics, with a focus on the distributional consequences of economic policies and economic forces. He has published extensively on the topics of inequality, risk sharing, unemployment, household formation, migration, fiscal policy, and monetary policy. Kaplan was previously professor and assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Princeton University, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and an economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Lawrence F. Katz is the Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on issues in labor economics and the economics of social problems. He is the author (with Claudia Goldin) of The Race between Education and Technology, a history of U.S. economic inequality and the roles of technological change and the pace of educational advance in affecting the wage structure. As the principal investigator of the long-term evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity program, a randomized housing mobility experiment, Katz also studies the impact of neighborhood poverty on low-income families.
Edward P. Lazear is professor of Human Resources Management and Economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He has served as chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, was the founding editor of the Journal of Labor Economics, and founded the Society of Labor Economists. He is the recipient of multiple prizes and honorary degrees recognizing his research in economics. Lazear has written extensively on labor markets and personnel issues; microeconomic theory; issues involving worker compensation and effects on productivity; governmental policies on discrimination, affirmative action, and comparable worth; educational policy; unemployment; culture, language, and diversity issues; the doctrine of employment at will; distribution of income within the household; and pricing and marketing policies.
Glenn C. Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and professor of economics at Brown University. His research has focused on applied microeconomic theory, game theory, industrial organization, natural resource economics, and the economics of race and inequality. Among other honors, he has been elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society.
Sara McLanahan is the William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She is the founding director of the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. She is a principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and editor in chief of The Future of Children, a journal dedicated to providing research and analysis to promote effective policies and programs for children. McLanahan is a former president of the Population Association of America and has served on the boards of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. She was elected to the American Academy of Political Science in 2005, the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, and the American Philosophical Society in 2016.
Myron Orfield is the director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. He has written extensively on local government law, spatial inequality, fair housing, school desegregation, charter schools, state and local taxation and finance, and land use law. Recently, Orfield served on the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, as an academic advisor to the Congressional Black Caucus, an advisor to President Obama’s transition team for urban policy and to the White House Office of Urban Affairs, and as special consultant to the Housing and Urban Development’s Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, the world's highest accolade for a political scientist, and in 2012, he received the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities. Notable publications include Making Democracy Work and Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, both among the most cited (and bestselling) social science works in the last half century. His most recent book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, a New York Times bestseller, chronicles the growing gap in opportunity for American youth.
Emmanuel Saez is a professor of economics and director of the Center for Equitable Growth at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on tax policy and inequality from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Jointly with Thomas Piketty, he has constructed long-run historical series of income inequality in the United States that have been widely discussed in the public debate. He was awarded the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association in 2009 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010.
William Spriggs serves as chief economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor in the Department of Economics at Howard University. In his role with the AFL-CIO, he chairs the Economic Policy Working Group of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, and serves on the board of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Formerly, he served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. He has also held senior roles with the Economic Policy Institute, the National Urban League, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and the National Commission for Employment Policy.
Ebonya Washington is a professor of economics at Yale University. She specializes in public finance and political economy, with research interests in the interplay of race, gender, and political representation; the behavioral motivations and consequences of political participation; and the processes through which low-income Americans meet their financial needs. Her work has appeared in the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
David W. Wilcox is the director of the Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Previously, he served as deputy director of R&S, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, senior economist on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers, an economist and senior economist at the Board of Governors, and a member of the board of editors for the American Economic Review.