National Academy of Sciences appoints Shaefer chair of new committee on economic and social mobility

April 3, 2023

As inequality and downward social mobility are on the rise in the United States, research on the causes and solutions is urgently required. To influence the direction of future research, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine selected Luke Shaefer, Ford School associate dean for academic affairs, Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy, and Director of Poverty Solutions, to chair the committee on  Research Agenda for Improving Economic and Social Mobility in the United States. 

Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the study will review and assess the state of knowledge on the factors that influence economic and social mobility, the mechanisms through which these factors operate, and how these relationships and mechanisms vary across and within different population groups. The committee will also identify knowledge gaps, discuss promising research approaches, and recommend policy-relevant research. 

Shaefer will lead 13 other scholars—including Susan Dynarski, currently Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education at Harvard University and formerly co-director of the Ford School’s Education Policy Initiative—to improve evidence-based policymaking and inform mobility-related policy and evaluation efforts at all levels.

Read more about the project on The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s website.