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Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University. Part of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.



News roundup

Highlights from Inequality & Social Policy
at the Malcolm Wiener Center

Miss our '10 Big Ideas in Inequality?' It's now online

Hosted by Inequality & Social Policy Director Devah Pager (Professor of Sociology and Public Policy). Featuring Lawrence Katz (Economics), Matthew Desmond (Sociology), Douglas Elmendorf (Harvard Kennedy School), Theda Skocpol (Government), Stefanie Stantcheva (Economics), Dani Rodrik (Harvard Kennedy School), Alexandra Killewald (Sociology), Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Harvard Kennedy School), David A. Moss (Harvard Business School), and Sendhil Mullainathan (Economics).

Introduction by David Ellwood (Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy) and moderated by Bruce Western (Sociology and Harvard Kennedy School). An Inequality & Social Policy event at the Harvard Kennedy School, October 13, 2016.

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Ph.D. fellow research cited in amicus brief to the
U.S. Supreme Court in support of Fair Housing Act

Research by Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellows Jackelyn Hwang (PhD '15), Michael Hankinson (Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy), and Kreg Steven Brown (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology) is part of an amicus curiae brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a robust enforcement of the Fair Housing Act to prevent and remedy discrimination in mortgage lending. 

Their research, published in Social Forces, examined the relationship between segregation and subprime lending across the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. They found that residential segregation created “distinct geographic markets that enabled subprime lenders and brokers to leverage the spatial proximity of minorities to disproportionately target minority neighborhoods.” They conclude that "segregation played a pivotal role in the housing crisis by creating relatively larger areas of concentrated minorities into which subprime loans could be efficiently and effectively channeled." 

Jackelyn Hwang earned her Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Policy in 2015. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University. In fall 2017, she joins the faculty at Stanford University as Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Michael Hankinson is a Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy. His dissertation focuses on how political behavior can both create, but also help address, social problems through public policy. 

Steven Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and an affiliated scholar in the Executive Office at the Urban Institute. He is also a contributor to the Urban Institute's Inequality and Mobility Initiative.

Insight and analysis

Where Does the American Dream Live?
September 18, 2016
Retro Report [video] | The New York Times [article]
In 1976, Chicago provided vouchers to African-American families to move into predominantly white suburbs. Retro Report examines what happened, and how it influences policy today. Features Lawrence Katz, Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics.

"In 2014 Katz decided to find out what happened to the children who moved as part of Moving to Opportunity. And now that the youngest children had grown up, he was seeing something that policymakers hadn't predicted: 'We're seeing them earning 30% more than a kid who didn't get the opportunity to move to a better neighborhood. We're seeing college-going rates increase dramatically. We couldn't see that when the kids weren't old enough....Neighborhoods and childhood development are long-term investments, and one has to have some patience. Most things that are investments take a while to pay off.”

On the costs of concentrated poverty, Katz says: "We're losing people who are innovators. We're losing people who could be artists. And we could have a much more vibrant society if we had less concentration of poverty and social problems."
Overture for a New Economy
October 26, 2016
Inside Story (Australia) | One man and two-and-a-half thousand listeners—Economist Thomas Piketty takes to the stage at the Sydney Opera House. Joining for the discussion, Andrew Leigh (Ph.D. '04), Australian Labor MP and Shadow Assistant Treasurer. 

See also
  • An Australian take on Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the Twenty-first Century'
    May 29, 2014
    The Monthly (Australia) | By Andrew Leigh (Ph.D. '04). Leigh notes that his own interest in studying long-run inequality was piqued by meeting Anthony Atkinson in the Harvard Inequality & Social Policy proseminar more than a decade earlier. Atkinson and Leigh subsequently collaborated on a series of papers examining inequality trends in Australia and New Zealand.
Living in an Extreme Meritocracy is Exhausting
October 26, 2016
The Atlantic | By Victor Tan Chen (Ph.D. '12). The downsides of "extreme meritocracy and the incessant measurement of merit." Chen is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy (University of California Press, 2015).

Stop whining about your 9-to-5 job — workers want stability more than flexibility
October 25, 2016
Marketwatch | New NBER working paper by economists Amanda Pallais, Paul Sack Associate Professor of Political Economy and Social Studies at Harvard, and Alexandre Mas of Princeton, used a field experiment to study how workers valued alternative work arrangements.
View the research 

See also
  • Would You Take an 8% Pay Cut to Work From Home?
    October 7, 2016
    Bloomberg News | Discusses new NBER working paper by economists Amanda Pallais, Paul Sack Associate Professor of Political Economy and Social Studies, and Alexandre Mas of Princeton, which used a field study to examine how workers value alternative work arrangements. 

Impact and Nonimpact of Online Competition
October 25, 2016
Inside Higher Ed | New NBER working paper by faculty member David J. Deming (Harvard Graduate School of Education), Michael Lovenheim (Cornell), and Richard W. Patterson (US Military Academy) finds that growth of fully online degree programs led to increased spending and falling enrollments at some place-based colleges, but had little impact on tuition rates.
View the research

Voting rights, unsettled
October 25, 2016
Harvard Gazette  | Interview with Alex Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School."Let me also make a distinction between disenfranchisement and voter suppression. ... What’s going on now is mostly a matter of suppression — and for a lot of people, it’s making it close to impossible to vote."
Judith Scott-Clayton and Jing Li, "Black-white disparity in student loan debt more than triples after graduation," Brookings Institution: Evidence Speaks series.
Black-white disparity in student loan debt more than triples after graduation
October 20, 2016
Brookings Institution | By Judith Scott Clayton (Ph.D. '09), Associate Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, and Jing Li, Research Associate, Teachers College: "While previous work has documented racial disparities in student borrowing, delinquencies, and defaults, in this report we provide new evidence that racial gaps in total debt are far larger than even recent reports have recognized, far larger now than in the past, and correlated with troubling trends in the economy and in the for-profit sector. We conclude with a discussion of policy implications."

See also
  • The Racial Disparity of the Student-Loan Crisis
    October 24, 2016
    The Atlantic | Coverage of newly-released study by Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09), Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Jing Li, a research associate at Teachers College.
  • Growing Racial Disparities in Student Debt
    October 21, 2016
    Inside Higher Ed | Coverage of new study by Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09), Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. “'What was shocking was the magnitude of the debt four years after graduation. It’s huge,' said Scott-Clayton. Debt shouldn’t be seen as a bad word, she said, but the study indicates that the system isn’t working the same way for everyone.

    "The study suggests that black graduates from the class of 2008 may have enrolled in graduate school at substantially higher rates than other groups did because of weak job markets. And more than a quarter of those graduate students enrolled in for-profit institutions, compared to 9 percent for white college graduates. 'That just begs the question what is going on in that sector,' Scott-Clayton said."
  • Black College Grads Owe Nearly Twice as Much Student Debt as Whites Four Years Out
    October 20, 2016
    Wall Street Journal | Discusses findings of new paper by Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09), Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and co-author Jing Li, also of Columbia University. Their report, "Black-white disparity in student loan debt more than triples after graduation," was just released by the Brookings Institution.
  • Recent black college graduates owe nearly $25,000 more than white grads
    October 20, 2016
    Marketwatch | Coverage of new study by Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09), Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
From US to Europe, the face of employment is changing
October 24, 2016
Christian Science Monitor | The number of temp, on-call, contract, and freelance workers is growing so rapidly, it may explain most of America's job growth in the last decade. Discusses findings from new NBER working paper by economists Lawrence Katz (Harvard) and Alan Krueger (Princeton), "The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the US, 1995-2015." 
View the research (updated: Sept 13, 2016).
Untangling the Immigration Debate
October 23, 2016
The New Yorker | What do we owe people in other countries who would like to come to this one?, Kelefa Sanneh asks. Discusses George J. Borjas's We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative (W.W. Norton & Co, 2016). Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

See also
  • The Immigration Debate We Need
    October 19, 2016
    Wall Street Journal | Review of George J. Borjas's new book, We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative.
  • Room for Debate: Silicon Valley Pushes for Immigration Reform for Its Own Purposes
    October 24, 2016
    The New York Times | George J. Borjas, Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, weighs in: Is an H-1B visa program that brings in high-skilled immigrant workers is benefiting the American people? Part of a Room for Debate forum that asks what is lost and what is gained as Silicon Valley firms build influence in Washington. 
  • Who Are Immigration's Winners and Losers?
    October 17, 2016
    WBUR—Radio Boston | Both major party candidates have staked claims on the impact of immigration on the U.S. Harvard economist George Borjas says each side of the debate is ignoring key points about the economic impacts of immigration.

Race in America: Looking to the Past to Understand the Present
October 24, 2016
Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast | HKS Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad makes the case that contemporary hot-button issues like race and policing, as well as mass incarceration, are fundamentally rooted in a widespread failure to fully educate Americans about their country’s racial history.

When the Safety Net Doesn't Catch You
October 21, 2016
WNYC—On the Media | Features Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted and John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences. Part 4 in On the Media's series, "Busted: America's Poverty Myths." [Audio and transcript]

The Devastation of Divorce for Older Women
October 21, 2016
CBS MoneyWatch | Discusses new research by Boston College economist Claudia Olivetti and Dana Rotz (Ph.D. '12) of Mathematica Policy Research, who found that those who divorced at later ages were more likely to be still working full-time between the ages of 50 to 74. “A 10-year increase in age at divorce is associated with a three percentage points increase in the propensity of a woman to work full-time when observed between ages 50 and 74,” they wrote in the paper, which was published at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Having gone through a divorce “has long-run consequences for older women’s marital, work, and retirement decisions, above and beyond the impact of past divorce on current marital status.”
View the research

See also
  • Divorce is Destroying Retirement
    October 17, 2016
    Bloomberg | Discusses findings of new NBER paper by Claudia Olivetti of Boston College and Dana E Rotz (Ph.D. '12) of Mathematica Policy Research, "Changes in Marriage and Divorce as Drivers of Employment and Retirement of Older Women."
What you need to know about ED’s proposed rule on Title I supplement-not-supplant
October 21, 2016
Brookings Institution | By Nora E. Gordon (Ph.D. '02), Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Gordon has testified on the implications of the proposed supplement not supplant regulation before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

What do financial markets think of the 2016 election?
October 21, 2016
Brookings Institution | By Justin Wolfers (Ph.D. 01), Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Eric Zitewitz, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College.
Invention, place, and economic inclusion
October 20, 2016
Brookings Institution | Delves into research by Inequality fellow Alex Bell (Ph.D. candidate in Economics), Raj Chetty (Stanford University), Xavier Jaravel (now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford), and John Van Reenen (LSE and MIT), which finds that “children of low-income parents are much less likely to become inventors than their higher-income counterparts,” as are minorities and women. Their research explores the sources of differences, establishing the importance of 'innovation exposure effects,’ both geographic and parental, during childhood.
View the research

More Than 3 Million Children Have Coverage Due to Drop in Uninsured Rate Since 2008
October 20, 2016
Council of Economic Advisers Blog | Post by CEA Chair Jason Furman cites findings of Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. '15) and collaborators, who showed that having Medicaid or CHIP coverage in childhood substantially increases the likelihood of completing high school and college. Cohodes is now Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University.

American Wreckage
October 20, 2016
Radio Open Source | Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '15), Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, is among the guests joining host Christopher Lyden for a discussion of the fault lines of gender, race, and class revealed in the 2016 election campaign.
Barack Obama's Eight-Year Balancing Act
October 19, 2016
The 2016 New Yorker Festival | Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, joined a discussion with Congressman Keith Ellison, Jelani Cobb, Alicia Garza, and Margo Jefferson, which took a look back at the Obama Presidency.
Where the candidates stand on criminal justice and policing
October 19, 2016
PBS Newshour | Leah Wright Rigueur of the Harvard Kennedy School guests.
Askwith Forum: Education and the 2016 Election [video]
October 19, 2016
Harvard Graduate School of Education | An Askwith Forum election panel with HGSE faculty members David Deming (Ph.D. '10), Martin West (Ph.D. '06), Roberto Gonzales, Meira Levinson, and Paul Reville.

See also
Racist Hiring Practices Hurt Employers Too
October 18, 2016
Pacific Standard | A look at new research by Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Director of the Inequality & Social Policy program, which found that businesses that were observed to be racially discriminatory in hiring were twice as likely to go out of business over a six-year period. The study appeared in Sociological Science.
View the research

These are the 3 Types of American Nationalism
October 18, 2016
New York Magazine—The Science of Us | Delves into a new analysis by Bart Bonikowski, Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard, and Paul DiMaggio of New York University, forthcoming in the American Sociological Review.
View the research 

See also
  • Donald Trump’s Appeal to American Nationalism
    October 17, 2016
    Pacific Standard |  A new analysis by Bart Bonikowski of Harvard and Paul DiMaggio of New York University explains why it resonates with only a segment of the population. Discusses their article,"Varieties of American Popular Nationalism," forthcoming in the American Sociological Review
As Land-Use Rules Rise, Economic Mobility Slows, Research Says
October 18, 2016
Wall Street Journal |  Discusses research by Daniel Shoag (Ph.D. '11), Associate Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Peter Ganong, NBER and Chicago-Harris.
View the research

How unequal should America be? Take this inequality quiz
October 18, 2016
CNN Money | A quiz app designed by behavioral economist Dan Ariely (Duke), Michael Norton (Harvard Business School), and David Grusky (Stanford). The article notes Ariely and Norton's 2013 viral video showing how skewed Americans' perceptions are of the wealth distribution in the US.

A computer program used for bail and sentencing decisions was labeled biased against blacks. It’s actually not that clear.
October 17, 2016
Washington Post | References new paper by Sendhil Mullinathan, Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, and collaborators Jon Klein and Manish Raghavan of Cornell University, which explores inherent trade-offs in the fair determination of risk scores. "These results," Mullainathan and his co-authors conclude, "suggest some of the ways in which key notions of fairness [in algorithmic classification] are incompatible with each other, and hence provide a framework for thinking about the trade-offs between them."
View the research 

How to Hire with Algorithms
October 17, 2016
Harvard Business Review |  By Oren Danieli (Ph.D. candidate in Business Economics), Andrew Hillis, and Michael Luca (Assistant Professor of Business Administration). Algorithms have the potential to improve hiring and promotion decisions, the authors argue, but need to be managed.

"We explored that potential in a recent study (American Economic Review, May 2016) on selecting teachers and policemen. We used machine learning algorithms to transform data about teacher and police characteristics – for example, educational background, surveys, and test performance – into predictions about their likely performance in the future. Our results demonstrate that students and communities alike could benefit from a more data-driven selection process. Algorithms can help with some of the nation’s most challenging personnel issues. For example, the data suggest that police departments can predict, at the time of hire, which officers are most likely to be involved in a shooting or accused of abuse."
View the research
30 Issues | A History of Voting Rights in America
October 17, 2016
WNYC—The Brian Lehrer Show | Alex Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at the Harvard  Kennedy School and author of The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (Basic Books, 2009), discusses the evolution of the voting rights throughout history and the challenges women and African Americans have faced in this pursuit. 

Improving K-12: New Research Urges Policymakers to Consider New Approaches to Educational Accountability
October 17, 2016
Harvard Kennedy School |  "'Policymakers have an opportunity to use the evidence from behavioral science to craft comprehensive systems that invoke a wider range of accountability tools and have the potential to provide educators with the means to improve their practice at the same time that they promote constructive incentives,' says Jennifer Lerner, [Professor in the Management, Leadership, and Decision Science Area at the Harvard Kennedy School and Co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory].

"A new research study published in Behavioral Science and Policy provides such evidence. The study, “Reimagining accountability in K-12 education,” is co-authored by Brian P. Gill, Senior Fellow, Mathematica Policy Research; Professor Lerner; and Paul Meosky, Harvard College '16. They argue that a more multi-faceted and evidence-based approach – one that incorporates professional accountability – would prove a more successful method for improving public school performance."
View the research
Researchers have debunked one of our most basic assumptions about how the world works
October 14, 2016
Washington Post | Examines new research by David Cutler (Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard), Wei Huang (Ph.D. '16, Postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research), and Adriana Lleras-Muney (UCLA) on the relationship between economic conditions and mortality. Economics reporter Jeff Guo draws out its potential implications: "All of this research should have us thinking about inequality. If growth is not wholly good, we should pay attention to who secures its blessings and who suffers the health consequences. In the United States, the financial rewards of economic expansion have mostly accrued to those at the very top, while average Americans have faced decades of stagnant wages. The question is: Have the health consequences accrued to the bottom?"
View the research

How Inequality Is Rising Among Identical Workers as Companies’ Fortunes Diverge
October 14, 2016
The Wall Street Journal | Discusses new research brief by Richard Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics, which argues that "increased inequality among employers is the main pathway for the trend rise in inequality" in recent decades.
  • Read the brief, published by Third Way.
  • View the research (joint with Erling Barth, Alex Bryson, and James C. Davis), published earlier this year in the Journal of Labor Economics.

Making Change through Studying ‘Cumulative Adversity’
October 6, 2016
CNBC | William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard, joins Glenn Hutchins on CNBC to discuss a new research effort of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard, "Multidimensional Inequality in the 21st Century: the Project on Race and Cumulative Adversity," which Wilson will lead. He is joined in the project by Harvard University collaborators Lawrence D. Bobo, Matthew Desmond, Devah Pager, Robert Sampson, Mario Luis Small, and Bruce Western. The work is supported by a grant from the Hutchins Family Foundation, announced today by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard.
  • Harvard gets $2m to study race, inequality in Boston
    October 13, 2016
    The Boston Globe | Coverage of new project of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research on "Race and Cumulative Adversity."
  • African-American Center at Harvard to Receive $10 Million Donation
    October 6, 2016
    Wall Street Journal | Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research announced  the gift, a portion of which will support a new research project on race on cumulative adversity. "Leading the new research project, which Mr. Hutchins referred to as the crown jewel of the center, is Prof. William Julius Wilson, who has spent most of his career studying poverty in inner cities."
America’s Dazzling Tech Boom Has a Downside: Not Enough Jobs
October 12, 2016
Wall Street Journal | Cites David Deming (Ph.D. '10), Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who "estimates that the hollowing out of work spread to programmers, librarians and engineers between 2000 and 2012."

The article notes that "for a long time, those with bachelor’s degrees in science seemed to be safe from automation-related layoffs because their cognitive knowledge was tough for computers to duplicate." But Deming's research has shown that the labor market increasingly rewards social skills, with employment and job growth particularly strong for jobs requiring high levels of both cognitive and social skills.
View the research (updated: August 2016)

See also
  • Seven Facts on Noncognitive Skills from Education to the Labor Market
    October 4, 2016
    The Hamilton Project | New policy brief  by Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and colleagues draws from research by Harvard faculty member David Deming, "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market." Deming (Ph.D. '10), Professor of Education and Economics at Harvard Graduate School of Education, first presented this work in the Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series in fall 2015.
JFK Jr. Forum: Race and Justice in the Age of Obama [video]
October 12, 2016
Harvard IOP | Panelists Paul Monteiro, Acting Director of Community Relations Service at the U.S. Department of Justice; Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Communities Alliances, Teach for America and Co-founder of Campaign Zero; and Avik Roy, President of The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and Editor of Forbes Opinion join moderator Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, for a John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum event.

Opening remarks by Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. Co-sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.

Ava DuVernay Reminds Us: The Past Must Be Present in Criminal-Justice Reform
October 11, 2016
The Nation | By Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Her new documentary explains how the 'slavery loophole' perpetuates racial disparities in mass incarceration, writes Muhammad.

See also
  • The 13th and Criminal Justice
    October 12, 2016
    WNYC—The Brian Lehrer Show | Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad of Harvard Kennedy School joins Nicholas Turner, president of the Vera Institute for Justice, and Cy Vance, Manhattan District Attorney, to talk about the new documentary “The 13th” from filmmaker Ava DuVernay that draws a straight line from slavery to mass incarceration.
Toxic inequality: Research points to racial disparities in lead exposure, and a model for action.
October 11, 2016
Harvard Gazette | Features research by Robert J. Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, and Alix Winter, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy. Their article, "The Racial Ecology of Lead Poisoning: Toxic Inequality in Chicago Neighborhoods," appears in the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race.
View the research

Cross-Cultural Responses to Discrimination: A Q&A with Michèle Lamont
October 11, 2016
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs—Epicenter | Interview with Michèle Lamont, Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and professor of sociology and of African and African American studies at Harvard University, about her new book Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel.

The book is co-authored with a team of sociologists, including Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellow alumnae Graziella Moraes Silva (Ph.D. 10) and Jessica Welburn (Ph.D. '11). Silva is now Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology with The Graduate Institute in Geneva, and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Vice Chair of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Social Inequality at the University of Rio de Janeiro. Welburn is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Iowa.

A Prize Worth Celebrating
October 9, 2016
Wall Street Journal | By Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics.In his review of The Nobel Factor, Glaeser argues that "the best role for the Nobel Prize in economics is not to advance an ideology but rather to reinforce the requirement that economists should play by the same rules as scientists. "

Tax Me. Please.
October 8, 2016
The New York Times | By Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '15), fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. "Asked what bothers them most about taxes, Americans overwhelmingly say the feeling that the wealthy and corporations are not paying their fair share. This is the top issue for nearly two-thirds of Americans. In contrast, 8 percent of Americans say that their biggest concern is the amount they personally pay in taxes. What upsets most people about taxes is not the amount they contribute. They are angry about the amount that the wealthy can avoid contributing."

Sending Potatoes to Idaho? How the Free Market Can Fight Poverty
October 7, 2016
The New York Times | By Sendhil Mullainathan, Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics. "It turns out that when you analyze objections to free markets on these grounds, they contain two basic issues: First, goods go to the highest bidder; second, bidders possess different amounts of wealth. Disentangling these two factors is important. When markets produce outcomes that seem unfair, it is usually the second factor — the wealth disparity — that is to blame. Place bidders on an equal footing and the superior efficiency of the market becomes evident." 
Recommendations for Federal Budget Policy
October 7, 2016
Brookings Institution | By Douglas W. Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. This brief is part of "Election 2016 and America’s Future," a Brookings-wide initiative in which Brookings scholars have identified the biggest issues facing the country this election season and are providing individual ideas for how to address them. Elmendorf was a visiting fellow with Brookings before becoming Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School in January 2016.

Introducing Michèle Lamont, ASA’s 2017 President
October 6, 2016
American Sociological Association | Profile of Michèle Lamont, Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, by Ann Swidler of the University of California, Berkeley. Featuring perspectives from many colleagues and current and former students, including Mario Luis Small (Ph.D. '01) Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology at Harvard:

"Mario Small of Harvard, who was at Chicago when he, Michèle, and David Harding (Ph.D. '10) of UC Berkeley, co-edited the important volume, Reconsidering Culture and Poverty, said, “In public and in private, Michèle is a force of nature. Pursuing multiple research agendas—on symbolic boundaries, on criteria of evaluation, on culture and behavior, on successful societies, and more—with an extraordinary level of intellectual commitment, Michèle has become a role model for many. Her first major paper was an imaginative study of Jacques Derrida, titled ‘How to Become a Dominant French Philosopher.’ Today, several generations of researchers would be inspired by what would surely be a fascinating sequel: ‘How to Become Michèle Lamont.’”

The cost of the charter school cap
October 5, 2016
Commonwealth | By Thomas J. Kane, Walter H. Gale Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Evidence shows low-income, urban students pay the price, writes Kane.

What Happens When Black People Learn They Should Fear the Police
October 4, 2016
New York Magazine—The Science of Us | Delves into new study in the American Sociological Review by Matthew Desmond of Harvard, Andrew V. Papachristos of Yale, and David S. Kirk of Oxford.
View the research 

See also There is No Need to Fret about Deglobalization
October 4, 2016
Financial Times | By Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School. Politicians should focus on restoring the domestic social contract, Rodrik argues.
After gaining legitimacy, can online higher education replace traditional college?
October 4, 2016
Washington Post | Cites recent study by Professors Joshua Goodman (Harvard Kennedy School), Julia Melkers (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Amanda Pallais (Harvard Economics), who "found that students who enrolled in Georgia Tech’s $7,000 online master’s degree in computer science would not have gone anywhere else if the program didn’t exist. By 'satisfying large, previously unmet demand for mid-career training, this single program will boost annual production of American computer science master’s degrees by 8 percent,' the Harvard researchers concluded."
View the research

The one thing Trump and Clinton agree on is infrastructure. This economist thinks they’re both wrong.
October 4, 2016
Vox | Interview with Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics.

Why Economists Need to Study Inequality
October 4, 2016
SSRC items | By Maximilian Kasy, Associate Professor of Economics. 

Searching for the Black Trump Supporter
October 1, 2016
The Atlantic | By Theodore R. Johnson and Leah Wright Rigueur. The Republican nominee doesn’t have many fans in the black community. But those who back him share similar personal and ideological characteristics, write Johnson and Rigueur. Rigueur is Assistant Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. Johnson is a Fellow at New America and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

When Whites Just Don't Get It, Part 7
October 1, 2016
The New York Times | Nicholas Kristof column cites Devah Pager's research on discrimination, a field experiment (joint with Bruce Western and Bart Bonikowski) that documented various forms of racial discrimination at work in a low-wage labor market, and her latest research showing that companies that discriminated were more likely to have gone out of business in the 2008 recession. Pager is Director of the Inequality & Social Policy Program and Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Harvard. Western is Professor of Sociology and Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy. Bonikowski is an Associate Professor of Sociology.
A Conversation with Jeb Bush [video]
September 29, 2016
Harvard IOP | A conversation with Jeb Bush, moderated by Paul E. Peterson, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government, and Roland Fryer, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, in the JFK Jr. Forum at the Harvard Kennedy School. The discussion covered a range of political and policy issues, with a focus on education policy and the implications of Florida’s experiment with education reform. 
Must-Read: Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva: A Simpler Theory of Optimal Capital Taxation
September 28, 2016
Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Post by Brad DeLong highlights new NBER working paper by Emmanuel Saez (UC Berkeley) and Stefanie Stantcheva, Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard, "A Simpler Theory of Optimal Capital Taxation." 
View the research (and slides) 
Trump, Brexit and the Rise of Nationalist Populism in the US and Europe [video]
September 28, 2016
Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies
Panel featuring Joachim Fritz-Vannahme (Director, Programme Europe’s Future, Bertelsmann Stiftung), Dani Rodrik (Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School), Theda Skocpol (Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology), Daniel Ziblatt (Professor of Government), and chaired by Bart Bonikowski (Associate Professor of Sociology).
Where History and Humanities Meet Public Policy: Q+A with Khalil Gibran Muhammad
September 27, 2016
Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy 
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, who joins the Harvard Kennedy School faculty this year as Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, sits down for an interview about the challenges facing America after the presidential election, the importance of the humanities, and the need to pay attention to the black public sphere.


'Evicted' selected for 2017 Shortlist: Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence
October 26, 2016
Matthew Desmond's Evicted is one of six books (3 fiction, 3 nonfiction) named to the Shortlist for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. 
Hope Harvey awarded JCHS John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellowship
Hope Harvey, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy, is one of four recipients of the 2016 John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellowship from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Learn more about Hope Harvey's research:

Michael Hankinson awarded JCHS John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellowship
Michael Hankinson, Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy, is one of four recipients of the 2016 John R. Meyer Dissertation Fellowship from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Learn more about Michael Hankinson's research:
Leah Wright Rigueur book honored by New England Historical Society
October 7, 2016
The Boston Globe
Leah Wright Rigueur, an Assistant Professor af the Harvard Kennedy School, is the 2016 recipient of the New England Historical Association's James P. Hanlan book award, which recognizes the work of an historian, focusing on any area of historical scholarship, who lives and works in New England. Rigueur is the author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican, published by Princeton University Press in 2014.
The finalists for this year's Kirkus Prizes
September 20, 2016
Washington Post
Matthew Desmond's Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City has been selected as one of six finalists in non-fiction for this year's Kirkus Prizes. Of the 18 finalists in all, three winners will be announced at a special ceremony in Austin on November 3. Desmond, a sociologist, is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard.

2016 Kirkus Prize Finalist: Matthew Desmond
October 10, 2016
Kirkus Reviews
Interview with Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, who talks about the people he interviewed and how they shared their lives with him.

Forthcoming academic publications by Ph.D. fellows

Rebecca Goldstein (Ph.D. candidate in Government) and Hye Young You (Ph.D '14, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University). "Cities as Lobbyists.” American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming.

Winner of the 2016 Deil S. Wright Best Paper Award for the best paper in federalism and intergovernmental relations presented at the previous year's American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.

Michael Hurwitz, Preeya Mbekeani (Ed.D. candidate in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education), Margaret M. Nipson, and Lindsay C. Page. “Surprising Ripple Effects: How Changing the SAT Score-Sending Policy for Low-Income Students Impacts College Access and Success.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, forthcoming.

Koretz, Daniel, Carol Yu, Preeya P. Mbekeani, Meredith Langi, Tasmin Dhaliwal, and David Braslow. 2016. “Predicting Freshman Grade Point Average From College Admissions Test Scores and State High School Test Scores.” AERA Open 2 (4). SAGE Publications: 1-13.

Amelia Peterson (Ph.D. candidate in Education), Danny Mucinskas, and Howard Gardner. 2016. “Teaching for Good Work, Teaching as Good Work.From the Laboratory to the Classroom: Translating Science of Learning for Teachers, edited by Jared Cooney Horvath, Jason M. Lodge, and John Hattie. London and New York, NY: Routledge.

Just out

The Diversity Bargain
and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities

By Natasha K. Warikoo (Ph.D. '05), Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

University of Chicago Press (Oct 2016).
Competition in the Promised Land: 
Black Migrants in Northern Cities and Labor Markets

By Leah Platt Boustan (Ph.D. '06)
Professor of Economics, UCLA.

Princeton University Press (Oct 2016).
Get the introduction (pdf)

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