Workers & Career Transitions

Digital delivery of job training programs allows educational material to meet a worker where they are, matching their availability or need for specific content.

Domain Statement

Historically, worker training required meeting in a physical space and at a given time, and it was difficult to tailor worker training to individual circumstances. And yet the limited empirical evidence evaluating worker training programs has typically found only modest success.

We are working on a variety of research projects and collaborations to improve the opportunities for workers to smoothly transition between industries and to achieve better economic outcomes. When workers better understand which programs meet their needs, they make more informed decisions, and in turn, effective training programs are incentivized to expand and better tailor their offerings to those workers who most benefit from their services.

Project Abstracts

Read about some of the worker training research projects the lab is working on.

Examining the Social Value of Targeting Interventions in Retraining Programs

This project uses administrative data, machine learning, and causal inference methods to evaluate the effectiveness of job retraining programs in Rhode Island for different types of individuals. Understanding which segments of the population do not respond well to existing programs in turn informs the design of job retraining programs as well as which programs to recommend to different individuals.

AI & Machine Learning, Social Sciences & Behavioral Nudges

Boosting Efficacy, Efficiency, and Accountability in Government Training Programs

Lab researchers are building a tool to help participants in government-funded training programs to select the programs likely to be most effective, taking into account an individual’s circumstances and qualifications. With a broad set of collaborators, the lab is using administrative data, science, and technology, and the outcomes of previous program participants to create the tool. This project will also incentivize training programs to add value to the earning capacity of program attendees.

AI & Machine Learning, Social Sciences & Behavioral Nudges


Learn firsthand from some of the researchers and practitioners associated with the lab.

Academic Publications

Publication Search

Thought Leadership

Venture Beat

Helping workers find job or skill training will be an important part of addressing the instability and job loss brought on by AI, said Stanford [Professor] Susan Athey, but the United States hasn’t historically done a great job of helping displaced workers impacted by automation.


Learning in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Our minds are used to seeing and dealing with linear change, which makes it difficult to recognize when change is becoming exponential.


A speaker series, with Bloomberg Beta, brought together entrepreneurs building solutions to our nation’s growing crisis with inequality, student loan debt, and declining economic mobility.

Issues in Science and Technology

Universities cannot by themselves educate the next generation of highly skilled workers, but they can apply their intellectual power to understanding and addressing critical national challenges.