Post-doctoral Scholar, Los Angeles
Alex Bell is a a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the California Policy Lab at UCLA. Prior to joining CPL, Alex earned a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, where he is also a Visiting Fellow.
Alex’s research explores the causes and consequences of economic inequality. In an applied line of research, he has studied questions at the intersection of inequality of opportunity with innovation. Through linkages of administrative datasets on patent inventors, he has examined efficiency losses to innovation of kids’ unequal opportunities in life and the role that exposure to innovation may play in reducing childhood disparities along gender, race, and parent background. Related work has analyzed the role of tax progressivity and productivity spillovers in innovation. In a more methodological line of research, he has also put forward a novel empirical framework for studying the role of job choice in income inequality.
Alex’s research has been featured in media outlets including The New York Times, Vox, and The Economist. His research was featured in the 2019 USPTO report to Congress on under-represented groups in innovation. Alex has also been a fellow in Harvard’s Inequality & Social Policy Program, the Weatherhead Initiative on Gender Inequality, Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and the NBER Health and Aging Research Program. Alex received a Bachelor’s of Science with honors in Computer Science and Economics from Brown University.