Stanford economist coming to SFU to talk about how poor children can climb the income ladder

September 02, 2016

Is America really the land of opportunity for all children, regardless of their family background? Raj Chetty, Stanford economist, will present findings from the Equality of Opportunity Project at the 2016 SFU BMO Public Lecture on Sept 12 (7:00PM – 8:30 PM). Chetty offers specific policy lessons for how opportunities for upward mobility can be increased for the next generation.

Chetty knows what he’s talking about. He’s widely acknowledged as one of the brightest economists of his generation. He has received the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40. He completed his PhD from Harvard University in 2003 at the age of 23 and was a professor at UC-Berkeley until 2009, when he returned to Harvard as one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history.  

The event will be moderated by Steeve Mongrain, associate chair of SFU's Department of Economics at SFU. This free lecture is part of the BMO Public Lecture Series, supported by the Bank of Montreal. The lecture is presented in partnership with Bank of MontrealSFU Alumni Association, SFU Department of Economics, and SFU Public Square.

Who can come to the session?

The session is open to everyone: students, employees, citizens, policy makers and anyone who is interested in learning how new policies could help children from low-income families.

Why should we care about increasing income opportunities for low-income families? 

The presentation will show how children’s opportunities to climb the income ladder vary substantially depending upon the neighborhood in which they grow up. By identifying these factors, you can make informed decisions on policies that could give more opportunities for Canadians.

What is an example of some of the findings that Chetty’s team has discovered?

Using data from five million children and their parents, Chetty identifies counties in America that have a significant impact on the lifetime earning potential of children. In the San Francisco example below, low-income children living in Contra Costa were more likely to have a 15.4 per cent earnings gain relative to the national average. Lighter colored areas are places that produce higher earnings levels. Click here for estimates for all counties in the U.S.

For more details: http://at.sfu.ca/xgTxDX