NEW YORK, NY – The Manhattan Institute is pleased to announce that Roland G. Fryer, Jr. is joining the Institute as the inaugural John A. Paulson Fellow in the Institute’s new Paulson Policy Fellowship Program, funded by the generosity of the Paulson Family Foundation.
Fryer currently serves as professor of economics at Harvard University and founding partner of Equal Opportunity Ventures. At the Manhattan Institute, Fryer will direct a new initiative dedicated to enhancing the ability of all Americans—particularly those living in disadvantaged communities—to realize their full potential in life. Drawing on his wide-ranging academic contributions, Fryer will advance policy and private-sector solutions that can foster better schools, safer streets, and more opportunity-rich neighborhoods. To that end, his first op-ed as a Manhattan Institute scholar, published today in the Wall Street Journal, suggests the use of financial incentives to motivate studying and help schoolchildren rectify pandemic learning loss.
Fryer’s work with the Manhattan Institute will complement his scholarly efforts. At Harvard, Fryer’s research brings together economic theory, empirical evidence, and randomized trials in the service of optimizing policy design surrounding issues like education, inequality, and race. His work has been cited in high-profile media outlets and congressional testimony. Fryer was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship in 2011, and the John Bates Clark Medal, given by the American Economic Association to the most promising American economists under the age of forty, in 2015. Among other honors, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Calvó-Armengol Prize and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. At the age of thirty, he became the youngest African American to receive tenure at Harvard.
“Roland Fryer is the most creative and insightful social scientist of his generation, and he has dedicated his formidable talents to bettering the lives of America’s poorest and most vulnerable kids. Because Roland recognizes the urgent importance of creating real educational and economic opportunity for all, he’s willing to challenge ideological orthodoxy to get to the right answer,” said Manhattan Institute president Reihan Salam. “I am honored to have him as part of our team, and to help bring his vitally important insights to policymakers and the wider public.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Manhattan Institute, an organization with a demonstrated track record of constructive policy work that translates into tangible public policy improvements,” said Fryer. “Together, I am confident we’ll produce cutting-edge analyses and recommendations that elevate the quality of life for struggling communities in urban environments across the country. I am filled with joy to continue the work I love.”
“Professor Fryer is a once-in-a-generation academic talent,” said Glenn C. Loury, who is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of Economics at Brown University, and a mentor of Fryer’s. “For nearly two decades, Fryer’s work on the economics of education, race, and criminal justice has yielded groundbreaking insights, which offer productive and meaningful ideas for improving the landscape of opportunity for America’s least-advantaged kids.”