About the Opportunity Lab

The UC-Berkeley Opportunity Lab (O-Lab) serves as the central research hub for Berkeley scholars conducting rigorous, data-driven research on social and economic inequality in the United States. Our network of faculty and graduate students work across disciplines and study a wide array of topics, from the role of childhood food security on long-term economic security to the disparate impacts of climate change on low-income communities. What unites O-Lab faculty and students is a commitment to rigorous methods and a focus on producing high-quality and policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality.

O-Lab faculty’s work is spread across six substantive policy areas, demonstrating the scope of the work being done around these topics and the holistic approach O-Lab takes in thinking about inequality research.  

·       Education and Child Development

·       Crime and Criminal Justice Policy

·       Taxation and Inequality

·       Health and Healthcare

·       Social Safety Net and Employment

·       Climate and the Environment

In addition to supporting research in these topic areas—through funding for students and faculty, sponsored events, and targeted dissemination of research—the lab also manages a range of initiatives on topics such as bringing new machine-learning tools to bear in the analysis of labor markets, supporting new research into the geographic dimensions of poverty and economic development, and partnering with California policymakers to better capture and analyze state-level indicators of inequality and opportunity. By drawing upon O-Lab staff, as well as our partners at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), and the California Policy Lab (CPL), O-Lab serves as the institutional home for Berkeley’s highest-quality research on poverty and inequality.