Skip to content

Spotlight on Previous Volcker Lecture

Restoring the American Dream: New Lessons from Big Data


Raj Chetty, professor of economics at Stanford, presents data showing that there is tremendous variation in rates of upward mobility in the U.S., with some cities, like San Francisco, offering rates of upward mobility comparable to Canada and others, such as Atlanta, offering lower rates than any country in the world.

Chetty uncovers and analyzes key factors that explain these differences in upward mobility and how policies can be changed to revive the American Dream.

March 26, 2018


About the Volcker Lecture

The Volcker Chair, which hosts the Paul Volcker Lecture, was endowed by Robert Menschel, former senior director at Goldman Sachs Group and Trustee Emeritus of Syracuse University, in honor of Paul Volcker.

Paul Volcker’s distinguished career includes eight years as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan; four years as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and two years as chair of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. In addition, he served as Undersecretary of Treasury for international monetary affairs and was chairman of the prominent New York investment banking firm, J. Rothschild, Wolfensohn & Co. Volcker also chaired the National Commission on the Public Service, which focused on the changes needed to restore vitality and credibility to public service.

"The critically important field of behavioral economics, although relatively new, has quickly become central to policymakers and corporate leaders in their decision making," observes Menschel. "Paul Volcker [was] the nation’s preeminent economist who epitomizes the very best thinking in this area."

The Maxwell School gratefully acknowledges Mr. Menschel's generous support. Funding for policy-relevant research and professional training for future public officials are key components to advancing effective governance at the national, state and local levels.

Leonard Lopoo, the Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics, hosts the Paul Volcker Lecture. Lopoo, in collaboration with colleagues in Maxwell's Center for Policy Research, where he is director and senior research associate, organizes an annual conference or lecture on a public policy topic drawing on the insights and perspectives of behavioral economics.

For More Information

Katrina Fiacchi

Katrina Fiacchi

Administrative Specialist, Center for Policy Research

Administrative Specialist, Maxwell X Lab

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.9040 | kfiacchi@syr.edu

Center for Policy Research
426 Eggers Hall