How can we improve economic opportunities for our children?

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

Click here to learn more and download data for your city.

Our Latest
Online Course: Using Big Data to Solve Social Problems

This new series of lecture videos shows how big data can be used to understand and solve important social and economic challenges. The course gives an introduction to research on equality of opportunity, education, determinants of health, and other topics in a manner that does not require prior background in economics or statistics. In the context of these topics, the course provides an introduction to basic statistical methods, including regression analysis, causal inference, quasi-experimental methods, and machine learning.

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.