Urban Labs Inclusive Economy Lab

The Inclusive Economy Lab partners with policymakers, community-based organizations and others to generate rigorous evidence that leads to greater financial security and real economic opportunity for communities harmed by disinvestment and segregation.

Real Financial Security and Economic Opportunity for All Communities

For generations, government policies and institutional choices have excluded many Americans – and especially the Black and Latinx communities – from opportunities for education, employment, and wealth creation. Ending intergenerational poverty and building an inclusive economy—one that provides real economic opportunities for all communities – requires collaboration across sectors, as well as scientific evidence about what works and what doesn’t. Traditional research can take years, and the results often don’t reach those who need the information most – the people living with and working on these issues.

The University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab solves this by working with policymakers, organizations, and communities to identify their most urgent and pressing challenges, co-generate evidence about what works, and translate that evidence into real policy changes that expand economic opportunity and financial security to improve lives.

The Inclusive Economy Lab studies programs and policies that aim to expand economic opportunity and create greater financial stability in order to understand how well they work. By identifying barriers to social mobility and racial equity, and highlighting the programs and policies that have the most positive impact, our work creates greater economic opportunity in cities, particularly in Chicago communities that have been harmed by discrimination, disinvestment, and segregation. 


The Inclusive Economy Lab aspires to a world in which there is financial security and real economic opportunity for all. 


The Inclusive Economy Lab conducts research that leads to greater financial security and real economic opportunity for communities harmed by disinvestment and segregation. 

Get to know us! From the organizations with whom we partner to conduct research, to the staff and faculty who comprise our team, explore more about our organization below. 

In 2018, the Urban Labs staff formed the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) committee based on a need to better incorporate equity and inclusion into the practices of the five labs.

As the Inclusive Economy Lab grew, we sought to clearly define our lab’s mission and values. In 2020 we charged our community engagement committee with ensuring that our project development and methods reflected our values and our commitment to antiracism.

The Inclusive Economy Lab is committed to conducting community-informed, partner-driven research that generates trustworthy insights that can inform policy and practice. To that end, we employ rigorous methods and analytic approaches that are carefully selected to match study goals, conduct studies in a manner that protects and elevates participants, and share learnings broadly to maximize the impact and reach of our work.

Projects and Publications

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Our People

Inclusive Economy Lab staff partner with civic and community leaders to generate evidence on what works to create pathways to greater financial security and real economic opportunity.

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