Nathaniel Hendren

Co-Director, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nathaniel Hendren is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Founding Co-Director of Opportunity Insights.

His work is motivated by the question: Do markets provide equal opportunity? Using a combination of theoretical and empirical analysis, he documents and evaluates the potential for opportunity in various situations including insurance markets and intergenerational mobility. His work seeks to understand when and why markets fail to provide opportunity, quantify the impact of these market failures, and provide tools to normatively evaluate potential policy solutions.

In 2019, he was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) having been nominated by the National Science Foundation. In his ongoing work with Opportunity Insights, he seeks to develop scalable policy solutions that will empower families throughout the United States to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes. Hendren earned a B.S. in mathematics and economics from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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