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Raj Chetty

Science Talent Search – 1997
International Science and Engineering Fair – 1997

About Raj Chetty

Economist Raj Chetty is considered one of the most influential social scientists working today. Chetty competed in ISEF and STS in 1997 before earning a doctoral degree from Harvard University. His research, which focuses on economic mobility, education and social insurance, aims to help improve government policy. In 2018, Chetty became co-founder and director of Opportunity Insights, a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing big data to improve upward mobility in the U.S. With his colleagues, Chetty found that the nation has many “lost Einsteins”— women and people from minoritized or low-income groups who could have made significant discoveries if they had been exposed to innovation as children. Chetty’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the John Bates Clark Medal.

Chetty’s pioneering research on barriers to economic opportunity is reshaping the field of economics. His approach combines theory with data analysis, shedding light on issues including poverty, inequality and education.

Notable Alumni - Raj Chetty
© John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — used with permission

With his colleagues at Opportunity Insights, Chetty developed the Opportunity Atlas, an interactive map illustrating rates of social mobility across the United States. Chetty hopes his research will help people rise out of poverty and says, “The big picture goal is to revive the American Dream.

Notable Alumni - Raj Chetty
Opportunity Insights

In the News

This 2019 Science News article references Chetty’s research on the connections between economic inequality and neighborhood conditions.

Read the Article