Economics serving society

Education Policy and Social Mobility Chair

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The Ardian Foundation – under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the DEPP - Department of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance of the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports, and the Paris School of Economics have just created a new research chair “Education Policy and Social Mobility”.



- Activity Report 2020-2021 (PDF - 3.5 MB)
- Press release on the launch of the chair (PDF - 1.02 MB)


Led by Luc Behaghel and Julien Grenet, the aim of this research chair is to identify the causes of inequalities in access to education, and to identify the policies and actions best suited to correct them. This is a key issue for all citizens, which concerns not only public decision makers but also civil society and philanthropic groups that devote much“ effort to supporting young people and their families.

An ambitious chair, interfacing research and action

The Ardian Foundation, the DEPP and the PSE intend to make this “Education Policy and Social Mobility” Research Chair a privileged space for fruitful interactions between research and practice. The objective is to improve the level of education of those segments of the population in most difficulty by identifying the most effective levers. Through original and rigorous work, the scientific teams hope to contribute to efficient and innovative education policies that take advantage of new technologies.

From early childhood to higher education, the researchers focus on allocation procedure related to school choice, social diversity, management of the teachers, evaluation of pedagogical methods, gender inequalities, tutoring policies and positive discrimination.

Chair’s holders

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  • Luc Behaghel : Professor at PSE, Research Director INRAE, Co-director of the J-PAL European initiative for social inclusion.
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Steering Committee

To coordinate the work, the chair has set up a steering committee made up of representatives of its three members, including: Carole Barnay (President of the Ardian Foundation), Luc Behaghel (Professor PSE, Research Director at INRAE), Julien Grenet (PSE Professor, Research Director at CNRS), Jean-Olivier Hairault (Director of PSE), Hadia Kebe (Ardian Foundation), Raphaëlle Muhlmann-Eytan (Ardian Foundation), Thierry Rocher (DEPP), Fabienne Rosenwald (Director of the DEPP) and Amir Sharifi (Ardian Foundation).

Fellow Researchers

Thomas Breda, Professor at PSE, CNRS Research Fellow, Director of the IPP Employment Program, Gabrielle Fack, Associate Researcher at PSE, Professor at PSL Universities, Junior Member of the IUF, Manon Garrouste, Visiting Professor at PSE, Senior Lecturer at the University of Lille, Jérémie Gignoux, Professor at PSE, INRAE Research Fellow, Marc Gurgand, Professor at PSE, CNRS Research Director, J-PAL Europe Scientific Director, Karen Macours, PSE Chair Professor, INRAE Research Director, Eric Maurin, PSE Chair Professor, EHESS Director of Studies, PSE Working Chair, Olivier Tercieux, PSE Chair Professor, CNRS Research Director, and Liam Wren-Lewis, PSE Professor, INRAE Research Fellow.

Funded PhD Student by the chair

Yousset Souidi (PSE and EHESS): “Politiques d’affectation des élèves et mixité sociale au collège”. Thesis co-directors: Julien Grenet (PSE) and Élise Huillery (Université Paris Dauphine-PSL).
Georgia Thebault (PSE and EHESS) : “Essays on student orientation choices in higher education in France”. Supervisor: Julien Grenet (PSE).

PSE Partners

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The Ardian Foundation was created in 2010 by Ardian, a global leader in private investment, with the aim of encouraging social mobility through the education of children, students and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the Foundation manages an annual budget of three million euros, part of which is donated by Ardian personnel themselves. It also serves as a forum for Ardian employees to engage in charitable projects. Almost a third of Ardian employees are involved in its activities, not only as sponsors of young people but also as participants in the foundation’s events and training programmes, and through relationships with partner associations. The Ardian Foundation supports projects in eight countries in Europe, Asia and North America.

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The DEPP (Directorate of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance of the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sport) exercises its competencies in evaluation and performance measurement in the fields of education and training. It contributes to the evaluation of the policies conducted by the Ministry. The animation of educational research is part of its missions.