MIP network member Kegon Tan recently sat down with HCEO to discuss his work studying intergenerational mobility and inequality.
"I’m particularly focused on aspects of transmission that deal with human capital and other aspects of socioeconomic status," he says. Some of his work examines early life mechanisms, such as parental investments, though he is also interested in later-life transfers, such as bequests.
He notes that most of his work looks at policy-relevant questions. "I try to approach policy questions in the spirit of the identification revolution," he says. Tan tries to get at causal effects using natural experiments or experimental data.
"A lot of my work also borrows from research from areas outside traditional economics," he says. "CEHD has a lot of work on personality psychology and I’ve bought a lot into this agenda."
Tan is interested in looking at socioeconomic skills and their role in inequality, but also notes the importance of research in areas like networks and genetics. "I think they are very useful measures that complement our understanding of human capital, in the case of networks as well as genetics," he says. "They’re just different aspects of human capital that have proven to be relevant and predictive of outcomes. So I think it’s worthwhile to think about them and use them."
Tan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester.