Freedom, Markets, and Well-being Fall 2017

Currie on Inequality


Professor Brown led us through the chief points in Currie’s paper “Inequality at Birth” (Currie 2011).

Then we talked about how Currie goes about establishing causality. The study that used the E-ZPass was particularly ingenious (Currie 2011, 5). Prof. Brown used this as an occasion to talk about thesis projects and how they might use similar methods.

Finally, I pointed out some points in the paper that I found surprising. They include:

We had our normal vigorous discussion, but your note keeper was tired and so he does not remember who said what. This would not be a problem if he had taken notes to help him remember but he did not do that either. In short, he has brought shame upon himself and will perform the appropriate acts of contrition before Thursday.


Currie, Janet. 2011. “Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences.” American Economic Review 101 (3): 1–22.