THE MITCHELL CENTER HELD ITS start-of-the-year conference on Friday, September 20, to kick off its year-long exploration of economic and social inequality and its many ripple effects. The conference featured keynote speaker RAJ CHETTY, currently one of the nation's most highly influential economists, as he took attendees on a tour of the online Opportunity Atlas tool he has created with colleagues. He revealed that inequality is both broad — with massive differences in social mobility between regions of the country — and extremely local, with opportunities for mobility sometimes varying city block by city block.
The conference's panels explored the health implications of inequality (and the ways that public health research often obscures, rather than reveals, the causes of differences in health outcomes); barriers to social mobility that are so taken-for-granted as to be practically invisible; and policy responses to pervasive inequality, often going beyond the targeted interventions presented by Chetty to include support for voting rights, labor unions, and nontraditional college students.
Go here for the Daily Pennsylvanian's coverage of the conference. A video of the conference is forthcoming.