Philip Oreopoulos

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Philip Oreopoulos is an economist who currently serves as Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Oreopoulos's research focuses on the economics of education, labour economics, public finance, and child development. [1]



Philip Oreopoulos earned his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 1995, his Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia in 1996, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002, where he researched on labour economics and public finance under the supervision of David Card, Alan J. Auerbach, and John M. Quigley. [2]

After his Ph.D., Oreopoulos worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics of the University of Toronto, where he was promoted first to associate professor in 2007 and then to full professor in 2012. In addition, he has also held visiting appointments at MIT and at Harvard University. Moreover, Oreopoulos is the co-chair of J-PAL's education sector (together with Karthik Muralidharan), a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, with which he has been affiliated since 2003, and a senior fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (since 2012), where he previously worked as research scholar (2006–12). In terms of professional service, Oreopoulos has worked as a (co-)editor or on the board of editors for the Journal of Labor Economics (2009–present), Labour Economics (2013-present), and the 'American Economic Review (2013-present), in addition to refereeing for numerous academic journals (mostly in economics). [3]


Philip Oreopoulos is ranked among the top 2% of economists by IDEAS/RePEc. [4] Most of his research relates to education, labour economics, urban economics, experimental economics, and the sociology of economics. [5] A substantial part of Oreopoulos' research deals with the consequences of changes in compulsory schooling laws, especially in the United Kingdom, which provide an exogenous variation of education. In this context, among else, he found

Other findings of Oreopoulos include (i) that workers who graduated from college during recessions suffer from persistently lower earnings for up to a decade, beginning their careers working for lower paying employers and then gradually upgrading their jobs by moving to better firms, with the speed of the upgrading determined by graduates' socioeconomic backgrounds (with Till von Wachter and Andrew Heisz); [10] (ii) that the non-financial benefits of schooling - e.g. higher work enjoyment, patience, trust, ambition, and risk aversion or also better decisions regarding health, marriage or parenting - are at least as large as the financial benefits of schooling and would - ironically - benefit school dropouts most (with Kjell Salvanes); [11] (iii) that the quality of neighborhoods in which children grow up in has only a very small impact in determining their adult earnings, likelihood of unemployment, or dependence on welfare benefits, but that the quality of the children's family environment does; [12] and (iv) that poor infant health predicts both mortality within one year, and mortality up to age 17, as well as long-term educational and labour force outcomes such as high school completion and welfare takeup. [13]

More recently and in line with his work at J-PAL, Philip Oreopoulos has used randomized controlled trials to investigate issues in education, e.g. finding that combining academic support services and financial incentives for good grades may be particularly effective in improving the grades and long-term study skills of female freshmen but will have no effect on men, in part because of poor male take-up, [14] or that combining the offer of assistance with completing the college financial aid applications with information about aid estimates may be effective in substantially increasing the likelihood of college attendance, persistence and aid receipt for low-income individuals whereas simply providing information isn't. [15]


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  1. Webpage of Philip Oreopoulos on the website of the University of Toronto
  2. CV of Philip Oreopoulos from the website of the University of Toronto. Retrieved January 29th, 2018.
  3. CV of Philip Oreopoulos from the website of the University of Toronto. Retrieved January 29th, 2018.
  4. Top 10% of authors in IDEAS/RePEc, as of December 2017. Retrieved January 29th, 2018.
  5. Philip Oreopoulos's NEP fields at IDEAS/RePEc. Retrieved January 29th, 2018.
  6. Oreopoulos, P. (2006). Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education When Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter. American Economic Review, 96(1), pp. 152-175.
  7. Oreopoulos, P. (2007). Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling. Journal of Public Economics, 91(11-12), pp. 2213-2229.
  8. Milligan, K., Moretti, E., Oreopoulos, P. (2004). Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom. Journal of Public Economics, 88(9-10), pp. 1667-1695.
  9. Oreopoulos, P., Page, M.E. (2006). The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling. Journal of Labor Economics, 24(4), pp. 729-760.
  10. Oreopoulos, P., von Wachter, T., Heisz, A. (2012). The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 4(1), pp. 1-29.
  11. Oreopoulos, P., Salvanes, K. (2011). Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(1), pp. 159-184.
  12. Oreopoulos, P. (2003). The Long-Run Consequences of Living in a Poor Neighborhood. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(4), pp. 1533-1575.
  13. Oreopoulos, P. et al. (2008). Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis Using Siblings and Twins. Journal of Human Resources, 43(1), pp. 88-138.
  14. Angrist, J., Lang, D., Oreopoulos, P. (2009). Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(1), pp. 136-163.
  15. Bettinger, E.P. et al. (2012). The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block Fafsa Experiment. Quarterly Journal of Economics 127(3), pp. 1205-1242.
  16. Robert Mundell Prize for 2006