Listen to Raj Chetty, Johannes Stroebel and Matthew O. Jackson, the authors of two important Nature papers on social capital discuss their findings with handling editor, Mary Elizabeth Sutherland.

The researchers used Facebook data on 21 billion friendships to construct an atlas of social capital for each ZIP code, high school and college in the US. They show that children who grow up in communities where people of low and high socio-economic status interact more have substantially greater chances of rising out of poverty. The authors go on to identify factors that limit – or encourage – social interactions that cross class lines.

The webinar discusses the strengths, weaknesses and implications of these findings, discussing the evidence supporting economic connectedness as a strong predictor of upwards economic mobility, the opportunities and limitations of working with Facebook data, and finally the release of the privacy protected aggregate data (that can be found here).