Decoding Economic Inequality

Annual Carl Snyder Lecture will examine the correlation between income, geography and upward mobility

What economic factors affect children in different geographic regions, and how can we provide opportunities for young people in low-income families? Raj Chetty, a professor of economics at Stanford University, will address these and other questions when he gives the 58th Annual Carl Snyder Memorial Lecture at UC Santa Barbara Thursday, March 9.

The lecture will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Loma Pelona Center, following a reception at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Because seating is limited, reservations are recommended, and can be made by contacting Anne Ellis in the Department of Economics at

At UC Santa Barbara, Chetty will discuss findings from the Equality of Opportunity Project, which uses big data to develop scalable policy solutions that will empower families to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes.

In his presentation, he will show how children’s opportunities to climb the income ladder vary substantially depending on geographic variation. He will identify factors that contribute to prospects for upward mobility, and offer specific policy lessons for how opportunities can be increased for the next generation.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Chetty is a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and a recipient of the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Medal, which recognizes to outstanding American economists under age 40. He received his Ph.D. 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 the university’s history. His work on tax policy, unemployment insurance and education has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony.

The Carl Snyder Memorial Lecture is named for the noted economic authority and author who died in 1946. Established in 1960 with a bequest from the estate of Snyder’s wife, Madeleine Raisch, the memorial is used to bring outstanding lecturers in the field of economics to UCSB.

Questions about the Carl Snyder lecture can be directed to (805) 893-3569.

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