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May 05, 2016

Study Aims to ID ‘Big Bets’ With Most Impact on Inequality

The Atlantic magazine examines a new report by philanthropic advisory firm the Bridgespan Group on where large infusions of philanthropic capital could do the most to move the needle on poverty and income inequality. The research aims to identify 15 innovations that, with $1 billion in investment, could produce major gains in social mobility for people from disadvantaged communities.

The potentially groundbreaking “big bets” include “competency acquisition” programs, which shift the emphasis in the job market from degrees to skills-based credentials, and “long-acting reversible contraceptives” such as birth-control implants that have been shown to reduce teenage birth and abortion rates. Big investments in such efforts could produce enormous societal returns, according to Bridgespan, in the form of much higher earnings for low-income people reaching stable career paths and reduced health-care, criminal-justice, and other social costs.