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Creating a Local Culture of Health by Promoting Social Mobility

Mar 2016 to Mar 2019



Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

This project has two specific objectives. First, we plan to study the extent to which inequality in health outcomes is due to local factors. Second, in light of preliminary evidence that there is substantial local-area variation in health outcomes and this variation is quite closely related to the variation in social mobility we previously documented, we plan to study policy interventions that can improve both economic and health outcomes of disadvantaged populations. More broadly, the overarching vision of the research program we outline here is to use a “big data” approach to identify policy interventions that improve economic and health outcomes. Our research group at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research aims to spark inter-disciplinary research – bringing together economists, sociologists, public health researchers, and statisticians – to investigate the link between inequality, social mobility, and health in a comprehensive manner, and we view this project as a first step in developing this broader research agenda.