The Success of the Earned Income Tax Credit

O-Lab Co-Director Hilary Hoynes contributes to EITC research with an EconoFact memo. 

"The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a major anti-poverty program that benefits both children and adults. It is a program with wide bipartisan support since, by providing a tax credit to lower-income working families in a way that incentivizes work, it both promotes greater labor force participation and supports the working poor. It currently does not provide much support for individuals or households without children, but there has been bipartisan support in the past for an expansion of the program to provide greater benefits to this group as well." Read the full memo HERE.

O-Lab Presents Empirical Research to CalDay Audience

On April 22, three O-Lab affiliated faculty presented some of their most recent research to a captivated audience.

Rucker Johnson, Associate Professor in the Goldman School of Public Policy and a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research discussed his research on the synergistic effects of pre-K and K-12 spending on children’s long-run adult attainments.

Danny Yagan, Assistant Professor of Economics and Faculty Lead of O-Lab’s Taxation and Inequality Initiative shared his Mobility Report Cards research, which shows that some colleges have a significant number of students who come from low-income families and end up as high-income adults.

Supreet Kaur, Assistant Professor of Economics, spoke about new advances in the psychology of poverty: how integrating ideas from psychology into economics can help us better understand why it is difficult for the poor to escape poverty.  Kaur did this by describing empirical results from field experiments with manufacturing workers that indicate the experience of poverty itself lowers cognitive functioning and worker productivity.  

Learn about upcoming events by following us on Twitter, @Berkeley_OLab or signing up for our newsletter by emailing 

O-Lab and CEGA are Hiring a Development Professional

O-Lab and CEGA seek a Fundraiser. This is a challenging opportunity for professionals who are passionate about supporting innovative research; have a strong desire to expand and deepen their skills in partnership development; and who are energized to contribute to the long-term success of a dynamic organization.

Description The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a hub for research on global development, with a network of over 60 academic researchers extending across the University of California, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. Our faculty affiliates design and test solutions for the problems of poverty, generating actionable evidence for policy-makers in less developed countries. Using rigorous field trials, behavioral experiments, and tools from data science, we measure and maximize the impacts of economic development programs throughout the world.

The Center’s research is organized by initiative. The new Opportunity Lab (O-Lab) initiative focuses on generating rigorous research on poverty and inequality in the United States and other developed countries. O-Lab is a growing network of Berkeley faculty generating cutting-edge research on important public policy issues.

Closing Date Apr 26, 2017 11:59 pm PDT Eligibility Responsibilities

The Fundraiser will assume responsibility for designing, developing, and implementing fundraising programs and outreach strategies; identifying new donor and partnership prospects through research; cultivating/soliciting donor prospects; and deepening relationships with current donors.

The Fundraiser will lead the organization of donor convenings, donor reporting, research dissemination, and strategic development planning. S/he will serve as a liaison to initiative leadership and potential donors/partners. This is a full time position.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop new ideas for attracting prospective donors and private companies to research opportunities (i.e. funding and data sharing).
  • Set development goals and ensure they are met by analyzing progress throughout the year, adjusting strategy, and working with stakeholders to increase outreach.
  • Identify and evaluate potential donors and private sector partners; design and implement prospect cultivation and solicitation strategies; manage relationships with donors and partners.
  • Design, organize, and implement targeted and cost effective special events and meetings to advance fundraising engagement opportunities.
  • Conduct analysis of complex results or activities, share with relevant stakeholders, and make recommendations for program changes or development of new programs as required.
  • Participate in short and long-range strategic planning, especially concerning outreach and development.
  • Develop deep expertise in subject matter; stay up-to-date on relevant research and policy developments.
  • Participate in center-wide events, working groups, and process documentation.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelors in Business, Communications, Public Relations, or relevant subject.
  • Commitment to evidence based research that tackles issues surrounding poverty and inequality.
  • Experience identifying donors/partnerships and successful soliciting of donations.
  • Strong technical experience designing and implementing fundraising programs.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Well-organized, with strong administrative skills and outstanding attention to detail.
  • Self-directed, intrinsically motivated; proven capacity to manage work independently, multitask and be responsive to time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Strong skills in long-range planning, analysis, problem-anticipation and -solving; ability to independently investigate solutions to challenges and anticipate leadership/sponsor needs.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills in working with colleagues at all levels. Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality. Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work diplomatically with diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to contribute to remaining flexible and able to adapt to change.
  • Desired Qualifications
  • Masters in Business, Communications, Public Relations, or relevant subject.
  • Understanding of economic research.
  • Experience using Salesforce.
  • Experience with Adobe InDesign.
  • Sense of humor with a positive attitude in approaching challenges and uncertainty

Application Requirements For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply Online application is required. Please visit and search for Job ID# 23016. Applications should include a brief cover-letter, resume, and three professional references. We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Do Healthy Lunches Improve Student Test Scores? A new study identifies a link between food quality and achievement.

The Atlantic looked to a new study by O-Lab's Michael Anderson when discussing the link between healthy school lunches and test scores.  Professor Anderson's study shows that “Healthier meals could raise student achievement by about 4 percentile points on average.”

Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.


New research by Emmanuel Saez and Danny Yagan shows "roughly one in four of the richest students attend an elite college...

In contrast, less than one-half of 1 percent of children from the bottom fifth of American families attend an elite college; less than half attend any college at all." 


Read the full article from The New York Times' TheUpshot and view the full report at The Equality of Opportunity Project.


The Earned Income Tax Credit: a key policy to support families facing wage stagnation

What's Next? The Need for Evidence Based Research

The election may be over, but the need for rigorous research that addresses growing poverty and inequality remains just as vital.  On October 17, a group of people gathered at O-Lab's launch event to hear Christina Romer, David Card, and Enrico Moretti discuss education, housing, and the role rigorous evidence based research can play in shaping economic policy.  Read more about the event HERE and view the slideshow below. 

Hilary Hoynes Appointed to the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking

Congratulations to O-Lab Professor Hilary Hoynes on her appointment to the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.  The commission, signed into law with bipartisan support, "lays critical groundwork for adopting evidence-based policies that maximize public investment and improve lives," according to the Urban Institute

Click HERE for a full list of the Commission members.