Nadarajan "Raj" Chetty is an American economist, professor of economics at Harvard University, and advisory editor of the Journal of Public Economics.
There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States — the American Dream. Today we look at the state of that dream as we revisit our 2018 conversation with economist Raj Chetty. We'll ask some questions that carry big implications: can you put an economic value on a great kindergarten teacher? How is it that two children living just a few blocks from each other can have radically different chances in life? And what gives Salt Lake City an edge over Cleveland when it comes to offering people better prospects than their parents?
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 thinkChetty 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 ShafirEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matt Desmond How to Catch a HeffalumpWant to contact the show? Reach out at  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, spoke at a London Business School Wheeler Institute for Business and Development event. He shared big-data insights to inform the pressing issue of social mobility.
On January 11, Stanford Professor Raj Chetty visited Brookings to discuss his new research, “Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation.” Following his presentation, Chetty participated in a panel discussion on how to harness underutilized talent with Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, and Tony Jack, Assistant Professor of Education at Harvard University. The panel was moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow Richard Reeves.    Subscribe to Brookings Events on iTunes, send feedback email to, and follow us and tweet us at @policypodcasts on Twitter. To learn more about upcoming events, visit our website. Brookings Events is part of the Brookings Podcast Network.  
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Creator Details

Aug 4th, 1979
Episode Count
Podcast Count
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5 hours, 20 seconds
Podchaser Creator ID logo 409818