Aaron Sojourner

Aaron Sojourner

Nonresident Senior Fellow – Brookings Metro

Aaron Sojourner’s research focuses on effects of labor-market institutions in the economy and society, policies promoting development of human capital, and behavioral economic approaches to consumer financial decisions. Economic Journal, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Journal of Public Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review (ILRR), Management Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Review of Economics & Statistics and others have published his work. Sojourner serves on the ILRR international editorial board. He received the 2015 John T. Dunlop Scholar Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. His research won the PNAS editorial board’s 2020 Cozzarelli Prize for Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

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 and chairs the Constellation Fund’s Impact Council. Previously, he chaired the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics NLSY26’s Employment and Work Arrangements content advisory board, served as senior economist for labor at the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C. over the 2016-17 academic year, served on the Minneapolis Mayor’s Cradle-to-K Cabinet, a director and board chair 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 the European labor economics institute IZA and member of the University of Chicago’s Human Capital & Economic Opportunity working group.

The Upjohn Institute is a private, not-for-profit, nonpartisan, independent research organization based in Kalamazoo, Mich. and has supported the study of policy-related issues of employment and unemployment since its founding in 1945.


Sojourner completed his doctorate 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 a master’s in public policy analysis from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s in history from Yale University. From 2009 to 2022, he worked as a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

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