How We Are Underinvesting in Kids (and What We Can Do About It)

Sulzberger Distinguished Lecture
Diane Schanzenbach, Director of the Institute for Policy Research, Margaret Walker Alexander Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
A growing literature has documented the large and persistent impact of increasing investments in children — from income support programs, to educational investments, to health coverage. Yet, we persistently spend too little on children, especially the poorest. The results are bad for children and bad for our economy. Diane Schanzenbach presents the case for investing more in children and provides policy solutions.
Schanzenbach is director of the Institute for Policy Research and the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Elected to the National Academy of Education in 2019, Schanzenbach is a labor economist who studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health, and income support policies. Her recent work has focused on tracing the impact of major public policies such as SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program) and early childhood education on children’s long-term outcomes.
Schanzenbach was formerly director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, an economic policy initiative which promotes policies to enhance broad-based economic growth. She has testified before both the Senate and the House of Representatives on her research. She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a B.A. in economics and religion and received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.