To advance economic research on the measurement and analysis of economic mobility, the NBER proposes to launch a two-year exploratory project – which could be extended if the results prove compelling – to create a “study group” on economic mobility. Sandra Black, a professor of economics and public affairs at Columbia University, a Research Associate in three NBER programs (Children, Education, and Labor Studies), a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers, and an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics, will lead this group. Black will identify and invite twelve leading researchers to serve as members of a steering committee for the study group, balancing research expertise and substantive focus within the group.
The group will convene for a two-day research meeting each year, at which six research studies will be presented. The steering committee members would be expected to attend the annual meeting and also to participate in at least one planning call each year to determine if there are emerging topics that should be highlighted at that meeting. They would also serve as talent scouts in identifying emerging scholars and other researches who might not have come to the attention of the group before. A key component of each meeting will be time – at least half a day – for the steering group to meet and to discuss emerging work and future directions. Program staff from the Gates Foundation would be welcome at this meeting as well as the conference, and representatives of other foundations could be invited to participate as well.