Inclusive Economy Lab Poverty Lab is Now Inclusive Economy Lab

The UChicago Poverty Lab has adopted a new name, the UChicago Inclusive Economy Lab, to better align with its values and mission: to conduct research that expands economic opportunity for communities harmed by discrimination, disinvestment, and segregation.

“The events of 2020 pushed us to take a hard look at how we do our work, and how we talk about it,” said Carmelo Barbaro, Executive Director. “One of our conclusions was that our name should better reflect our values of equity and inclusion and our partnership-based approach to research.”

To achieve this, the Lab embarked on a thorough, inclusive process to identify a new name, beginning with an open brainstorm with Lab staff. A wide array of internal and external stakeholders then gave input, including community-based partners, policymakers, University of Chicago colleagues, and other advocates and supporters.

Inclusive Economy Lab fulfilled a number of objectives that the Lab hoped to meet.

“The name ‘Inclusive Economy Lab’ emphasizes what our organization is working for, rather than against,” said Barbaro. “We hope the name invites conversation with our partners and fellow Chicagoans about what an inclusive economy looks like, and how we will get there together.”

The change also shifts the name’s focus from economic status to the economy and the systems that reproduce poverty across generations, particularly among racial minorities – an issue the Lab directly works to address.

“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,” said Marianne Bertrand, Pritzker Director of the Lab. “As researchers, we strive to partner with policymakers, organizations, and communities to study these issues and translate our findings into policy changes that can create a more inclusive economy – one that provides real economic opportunity for all.”

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About the Inclusive Economy Lab

Founded in 2015, the UChicago Inclusive Economy Lab (formerly Poverty Lab) conducts rigorous studies that expand economic opportunity for communities that have been harmed by discrimination, disinvestment and segregation. The lab partners with policymakers, community-based organizations, and others to identify their most urgent and pressing challenges, co-generate evidence about what works, and translate findings into policy changes that reduce urban poverty and improve people’s lives. One of five Urban Labs based at the Harris School of Public Policy, the Inclusive Economy Lab is led by Pritzker Director Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business

21 January 2021