Can Raj Chetty save the American dream?

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Aug 08 2019 82 mins   2.9k
I don’t ordinarily find myself scrambling to write down article ideas during these conversations, but almost everything Raj Chetty says is worth a feature unto itself. For instance: - Great Kindergarten teachers generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in future earnings for their students - Solving poverty would increase life expectancy by more — far more — than curing cancer - Public investment focused on children often pays for itself - The American dream is more alive in Canada than in America - Maps of American slavery look eerily like maps of American social mobility — but not for the reason you’d think Chetty is a Harvard economist who has been called “the most influential economist alive today.” He’s considered by his peers to be a shoo-in for the Nobel prize. He specializes in bringing massive amounts of data to bear on the question of social mobility: which communities have it, how they got it, and what we can learn from them. What Chetty says in this conversation could power a decade of American social policy. It probably should. References: Atlantic profile Vox profile Books: Scarcity:The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matt Desmond How to Catch a Heffalump