Capitalism is the engine of prosperity.

Capitalism sows the seeds of its own demise.


Could both be right?

Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago) and Kate Waldock (Georgetown) share the sort of irreverent banter you’d hear between economists at a bar, if economists were capable of sarcasm and social enough to go out to bars.


Produced by Derek John


As college enrollment goes up, social mobility continues its 50-year decline. Luigi and Kate look for answers in the latest research on the role of higher education. Are today’s universities engines of social mobility or simply bastions of privilege?


Main papers discussed during episode:
– All the work by Raj Chetty and co-authors can be found at
– Hoxby C. and C. Avery (2013), “The Missing “One-Offs”: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students


Papers using natural experiments:
– Twins Studies: Orley Ashenfelter and Alan Krueger, “Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins,” The American Economic Review Vol. 84, No. 5 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1157-1173.
– Regression Discontinuity Design: Hoeckstra (2009) The Effect of Attending the Flagship State University on Earnings: A Discontinuity-Based Approach , The Review of Economics and Statistics Volume 91, Issue 4.
– Lotteries: Bulman, George, Bulman, Robert Fairlie, Sarena Goodman, Adam Isen (2017) “Parental Resources and College Attendance: Evidence from Lottery Wins”