Booth Professor Leads Poverty Lab

Published on March 10, 2015

A Chicago Booth economics professor will direct the new University of Chicago Poverty Lab. The Poverty Lab is one of three new urban labs the University of Chicago announced March 9, joining the Ecology and Wellness Labs as part of a University of Chicago network that builds on the success of the school's Crime and Education Labs.

Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, will lead the Poverty Lab, which will seek ways to improve parenting skills and better prepare students for the job market. Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative is a partner.

In each lab, staff members and students conduct research, formulate strategies for tackling problems, work with community groups to operate programs, then evaluate data to assess impact.

"It's marrying rigorous inquiry with impact on the largest scale," said Timothy Knowles, director of the urban labs.

By summer, the labs will be operating out of workspace in the Loop.

The lab network has other Booth connections. The network’s interim COO is Booth alumna Alicia Ginsburgh, ’12, and the co-director of the Education Lab is former Booth professor Jonathan Guryan.