Aaron Sojourner is a labor economist and associate professor at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on three areas: (1) effects of labor-market institutions on economic productivity and in politics, (2) policies to promote efficient and equitable development of human capital with a focus on early childhood and K–12 education systems, and (3) behavioral economic approaches to consumer financial decisions. Economic Journal, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review (ILRR), Management Science, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, and Industrial Relations have published his work, and he serves on the ILRR international editorial board. He received the John T. Dunlop Scholar Award from the U.S. Labor and Employment Relations Association in 2016, which recognizes emerging scholars for outstanding research contributions to issues of national significance. He co-created childcareaccess.org to help leaders of Minnesota communities understand families’ local access to child care.
Sojourner has a wide range of policy experience and community service. He is a member of the Minnesota State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Care and Education. He spent the 2016–2017 academic year in Washington, D.C., serving as senior economist for labor at the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers, which offers the president with objective economic advice on the formulation of economic policy. Previously, he served on Minneapolis Mayor Hodges’s Cradle-to-K Cabinet advising the city on how to reduce racial disparities through policies affecting children’s first three years, as a member of the Human Capital Research Collaborative’s steering committee, a director of Spring Bank, a community bank in the Bronx and Harlem, N.Y, and a fellow in the U.S. Senate’s Labor Policy Office.
Sojourner is a research fellow at IZA, the leading European labor-economics research institute, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and member of the Human Capital & Economic Opportunity Working Group.
Sojourner completed his Ph.D. in economics at Northwestern University in 2009 and was a pre-doctoral fellow in the university’s Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences. He also has an M.A. in public policy analysis from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in history from Yale University.