Opportunity Lab directors hold appointments in a range of departments across the
University of California, Berkeley campus.
Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities
Hilary Hoynes is Co-Director of O-Lab, Professor of Public Policy and Economics and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities. She is the co-editor of the leading journal in economics, American Economic Review. Hoynes received her undergraduate degree from Colby College and her PhD from Stanford University in 1992. In addition to her faculty appointment, Hoynes has research affiliations at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She sits on the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program and the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation, Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.
Associate Professor of Economics, Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research
Ben Handel is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He is a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Economics and participated in the 2010 Review of Economics Studies European Tour. His research focuses on the microeconomics of consumer choice and market structure in the health care sector, with an emphasis on health insurance markets. His most recent research has emphasized the important role that consumer choice frictions, such as inertia and limited information, can have when assessing the welfare outcomes of different regulatory policies in health insurance markets. In addition, his work studies incentive design and adoption of information technology by medical providers. Dr. Handel has partnered with a range of large firms and policy organizations in the health care sector to study questions in these areas. He completed his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University in 2010, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2011. He received an A.B. in economics from Princeton University in 2004.
Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Jesse Rothstein is Co-Director of O-Lab, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, and Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 2009, and spent the 2009-10 academic year in public service, first as Senior Economist at the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and then as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. Earlier, he was assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 2003. His research focuses on education policy and the labor market, and particularly on the way that educational and other institutions promote or hinder opportunity for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Opportunity Lab affiliated faculty hold appointments in a range of departments across the
University of California, Berkeley campus
Associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Michael Anderson is Associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Anderson’s research interests include the areas of environmental economics, health economics, and applied econometrics, especially relating to questions of causal inference.
George Pardee Jr. Professor of International Sustainable Development, Associate Dean in the Division of Social Sciences
Maximilian Auffhammer is the George Pardee Jr. Professor of International Sustainable Development and Associate Dean in the Division of Social Sciences at UC Berkeley. Professor Auffhammer received his B.S. in environmental science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1996, a M.S. in environmental and resource economics at the same institution in 1998 and a Ph.D. in economics from UC San Diego in 2003. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2003. His research focuses on environmental and resource economics, energy economics and applied econometrics. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Energy and Environmental Economics group, a Humboldt Fellow, and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Professor Auffhammer serves as Co-Editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. His research has appeared in The American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Economic Journal, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, The Energy Journal and other academic journals. Professor Auffhammer is the recipient of the 2007 Cozzarelli Prize awarded by the National Academies of Sciences, the 2009 Campus Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2007 Sarlo Distinguished Mentoring Award.
Assistant Professor at the School of Information, Director of the Data-Intensive Development Lab
Joshua Blumenstock is an Assistant Professor at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information, and the Director of the Data-Intensive Development Lab. His research lies at the intersection of machine learning and development economics, and focuses on using novel data and methods to better understand the causes and consequences of global poverty. At Berkeley, Joshua teaches courses in machine learning and "data-intensive development". Previously, Joshua was on the faculty at the University of Washington, where he led the school’s Data for Social Good initiative. He has a Ph.D. in Information Science and a M.A. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley, and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Physics from Wesleyan University. He is a recipient of the Intel Faculty Early Career Honor, a Gates Millennium Grand Challenge award, a Google Faculty Research Award, and is a former fellow of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and the Harvard Institutes of Medicine.
Class of 1950 Professor of Economics, Director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research
David Card is the Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley and Director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research interests include immigration, wages, education, and health insurance. He co-authored the 1995 book Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, and co-edited The Handbook of Labor Economics (1999), Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms (2004); and Small Differences that Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States (1992). He has also published over 90 journal articles and book chapters.Card was co-editor of Econometrica from 1991 to 1995 and co-editor of the American Economic Review from 2002 to 2005. He taught at Princeton University from 1983 to 1996, and has held visiting appointments at Columbia University and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In 1992 he was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society, and in 1998 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1995 he received the American Economic Association' s John Bates Clark Prize, which is awarded every other year to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field. He was a co-recipient of the IZA Labor Economics Award in 2006, and was awarded the Frisch Medal by the Econometric Society in 2007.
Assistant Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy
Avi Feller is an assistant professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, where he works at the intersection of public policy, data science, and statistics. His methodological research centers on learning more from social policy evaluations, especially randomized experiments. His applied research focuses on working with governments on using data to design, implement, and evaluate policies. Prior to his doctoral studies, Feller served as Special Assistant to the Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget and worked at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Feller received a Ph.D. in Statistics from Harvard University, an M.Sc. in Applied Statistics as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and a B.A. in Political Science and Applied Mathematics from Yale University.
Associate Professor of Economics
Frederico Finan is an Associate Professor of Economics. He received his PhD in Agriculture and Resource Economics from UC-Berkeley in 2006. Prior to joining the department, Professor Finan was an assistant professor of economics at UCLA. He is also an affiliate of Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development(BREAD), and a research fellow at IZA and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Class of 1935 Endowed Chair in Energy, Associated Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Meredith Fowlie holds the Class of 1935 Endowed Chair in Energy and is an Associated Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a research associate at the Energy Institute at Haas and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her primary areas of interest include energy supply and demand, and the economic analysis of environmental policy outcomes. She received her PhD in Agriculture and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in 2006.
Assistant Professor of Economics, Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research
Cecile Gaubert is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research interests include spatial distribution of economic activity, firms and cities, and firms and trade.
Associate Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy
Solomon Hsiang is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He combines data with mathematical models to understand how society and the environment influence one another. In particular, he focuses on how policy can encourage economic development while managing global climate change, how natural disasters impact societies and the effectiveness of policy responses, and how environmental conditions influence social instability and violence.
Hsiang earned a BS in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science and a BS in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he received a PhD in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Applied Econometrics at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at Princeton University. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and served as a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
RUCKER C. JOHNSON
Associate Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy; Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research
Rucker C. Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Goldman School of Public Policy and a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Johnson is a Research Affiliate of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute and the National Poverty Center. As a labor and health economist, his work considers the role of poverty and inequality in affecting life chances. He has focused on such topics as the long-run impacts of school quality on educational attainment and socioeconomic success, including the effects of desegregation, school finance reform, and Head Start. He has investigated the determinants of intergenerational mobility; the societal consequences of incarceration; effects of maternal employment patterns on child well-being; and the socioeconomic determinants of health disparities over the life course, including the roles of childhood neighborhood conditions and residential segregation.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Supreet Kaur is Assistant Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley. She earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in 2012. Kaur's research is in development economics and behavioral economics, with a focus on labor markets.
Associate Professor of Economics
Patrick Kline is an Associate Professor of Economics. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2007 and holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Ford School of Public Policy along with a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Reed College. He is the 2007 winner of the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research dissertation prize and was chosen as a participant in the 2007 Review of Economic Studies European Tour and the 2008 Frontiers of Econometrics conference in Japan.
Assistant Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy, Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research
Jonathan Kolstad is an Assistant Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is an economist whose research interests lie at the intersection of health economics, industrial organization and public economics. A unifying theme of his work is an effort to understand how information, market structure and regulation alter firm organization, individual incentives and, ultimately, welfare. His work has studied, amongst other things, the impact of quality information on demand as well as intrinsic surgeon incentives, the impact of the Massachusetts health insurance expansion on a variety of outcomes and consumer decision making in insurance markets. Kolstad was awarded the Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association for the best paper in health economics in 2014. Professor Kolstad is also a co-founder and Chief Data Scientist at Picwell. Professor Kolstad received his PhD from Harvard University and BA from Stanford University.
Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action
Edward Miguel is the Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2000. He earned S.B. degrees in both Economics and Mathematics from MIT, received a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow, and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University and Stanford University.
Miguel's main research focus is African economic development, including work on the economic causes and consequences of violence; the impact of ethnic divisions on local collective action; and interactions between health, education, environment, and productivity for the poor.
Miguel is a recipient of the 2012 U.C. Berkeley campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award, the Best Graduate Adviser Award in the Berkeley Economics Department. He has written two books, Africa's Turn? (MIT Press 2009), and, with Ray Fisman, Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence and the Poverty of Nations (Princeton University Press 2008). Economic Gangsters has been translated into ten languages, and the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof praises it as "smart and eminently readable". Miguel's other writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Forbes, and the New York Times.
Assistant Professor of Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group
Conrad Miller is Assistant Professor of Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group. He earned is Ph.D. from MIT in 2014. Miller's research includes hiring, job networks, affirmative action in the labor market, and spatial labor market frictions.
Michael Peevey and Donald Vial Professor of Economics
Enrico Moretti is the Michael Peevey and Donald Vial Professor of Economics. He serves as the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives and is a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He is also Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge), Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London) and the Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn).
Professor Moretti’s research covers the fields of labor economics, urban economics and regional economics. He has received several awards and honors, including the Society of Labor Economists’ Rosen Prize for outstanding contributions to labor economics, the Carlo Alberto Medal, the IZA Young Labor Economist Award and a Fulbright Fellowship. His book, “The New Geography of Jobs” was awarded the William Bowen Prize by Princeton University for the most important contribution toward understanding public policy and the labor market.
His research has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Atlantic, Businessweek, The Economist, The New Republic, CNN, PBS and NPR.
Acting Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management
Ziad Obermeyer is Acting Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Obermayer a physician and researcher who works at the intersection of machine learning and health. His research seeks to understand and improve decision making in public policy and clinical medicine, and drive innovations in health research. His work has been published in Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The BMJ, and Health Affairs. He is the recipient of an Early Independence Award from the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy
Steven Raphael is Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy. His research focuses on the economics of low-wage labor markets, housing, and the economics of crime and corrections. His most recent research focuses on the social consequences of the large increases in U.S. incarceration rates. Raphael also works on immigration policy, research questions pertaining to various aspects of racial inequality, the economics of labor unions, social insurance policies, homelessness, and low-income housing. Raphael is the author (with Michael Stoll) of Why Are so Many Americans in Prison? (published by the Russell Sage Foundation Press) and The New Scarlet Letter? Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record (published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research). He is also editor in chief of Industrial Relations and a research fellow at the University of Michigan National Poverty Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab, IZA, Bonn Germany, and the Public Policy Institute of California. Raphael holds a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.
Professor of the Graduate School, Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Michael Reich is Professor of the Graduate School and Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) of the University of California Berkeley, where he also served as director from 2004 to 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. Reich’s research areas include labor economics, political economy, living wages, and minimum wages.
Professor of Economics, Director of the Center for Equitable Growth
Emmanuel Saez is the Director of the Center for Equitable Growth at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999. He was Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University from 1999 to 2002, before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2002. He is currently editor of the Journal of Public Economics and co-director of the Public Policy Program at CEPR. He was awarded the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association in 2009. His main areas of research are centered around taxation, redistribution, and inequality, both from a theoretical and empirical perspective.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Daniel Schneider is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on social demography, inequality, and the family. His current work examines how economic inequality and precarious employment affect family formation, health, parenting, and child wellbeing. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton in 2012 and was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at Berkeley from 2012-2014.
Associate Professor of Business, Public Policy and Economics
Reed Walker is an Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy and Economics at UC Berkeley. His research explores the social costs of environmental externalities such as air pollution and how regulations to limit these externalities contribute to gains and/or losses to the economy. He is the faculty co-director of UC Berkeley’s Opportunity Lab - Climate and Environment Initiative. He is also a research associate at the Energy Institute at Haas, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a research fellow at IZA. He was a recipient of the 2017 Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship and the 2015 IZA Young Labor Economist Award. In addition, his work has been supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He received his PhD in economics from Columbia University in 2012 and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Scholars in Health Policy program from 2012-2014.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Christopher Walters joined the economics department as an assistant professor after receiving his PhD in economics from MIT in 2013. He received a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship in 2012. In 2008, he graduated with a BA in economics and philosophy from the University of Virginia and received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Assistant Professor of Economics, Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research
Danny Yagan is an Assistant Professor of Sconomics in the department and a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He joined the department after earning a BA summa cum laude and a PhD in economics from Harvard University and after completing a post-doc at UC Berkeley.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Gabriel Zucman is Assistant Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley. He earned a Ph.D. from the Paris School of Economics in 2013. His research focuses on the accumulation and distribution of global wealth, from a public finance, international macro, and historical perspective. He has published on the dynamic of wealth held in offshore tax havens, on long-run patterns in capital accumulation, and on the trends in wealth inequality in the United States. His book, “the Hidden Wealth of Nations” (2015) published at the University of Chicago Press assesses the costs of Tax Havens to foreign nations, and provides an Action Plan to effectively fight offshore tax avoidance and evasion.
Joe Broadus coordinates all O-Lab initiatives and manages the development of new research and dissemination strategies. Joe has spent the last ten years in the fields of social policy and criminal justice research. Prior to joining O-Lab, he worked with UC Berkeley to design a study into the effects of internal police department policy on the use of force and racial disparities in law enforcement, and with Impact Justice on research into the use of predictive technology in law enforcement. He also spent several years as a Research Analyst at MDRC, conducting evaluations on a number of employment, education, and re-entry interventions around the country.