How can we improve economic opportunities for our children?

We use big data to identify new pathways to upward mobility.

Click here for data on mobility rates for all colleges.

Latest Work
Mobility Report Cards:
The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility

We use data on 30 million college students to construct mobility report cards — publicly available statistics on students’ earnings and their parents’ incomes — for each college in America. Our analysis sheds light on how colleges shape children's prospects of upward mobility and how we can help more children climb the income ladder through higher education.

Project Motivation

A defining feature of the “American Dream” is upward income mobility: the ideal that children have a higher standard of living than their parents. Our work shows that children's prospects of earning more than their parents have fallen from 90% to 50% over the past half century. Understanding what has led to this erosion of the American Dream — and how we can revive it for future generations — is the motivation for the Equality of Opportunity Project.

For an overview of our work, please listen to this podcast on Freakonomics Radio.


Our mission is to develop scalable policy solutions that will empower families to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes. We aim to achieve this mission by harnessing the power of big data to learn from areas where the American Dream is still thriving.

Research Areas

Want to Learn More?

Click here to read summaries and full-length version of our papers
and here to download publicly available data from the project.