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

News roundup

Prof. Matthew Desmond

Highlights from Inequality & Social Policy
at the Malcolm Wiener Center

Browse the headlines below to catch up on the latest insights and analysis, Inequality in-the-news, and noteworthy developments from the Harvard Inequality & Social Policy program. 

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Insight & analysis

Forensic Pseudoscience: The Unheralded Crisis of Criminal Justice
November 16, 2015
Boston Review | By Nathan J. Robinson, Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy.  
Selected by The Aspen Institute as one of its 'Five Best Ideas of the Day'.
What Public Housing Officials Can Teach Us about Overcoming Racial Discrimination
November 20, 2015
Scholars Strategy Network | By Katherine Levine Einstein (PhD '12, now Boston University). This brief summarizes research forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science. 
Read the paper ▶

Suffrage in America
November 20, 2015
James Madison's Montpelier | Alexander Keyssar interviewed in a series of videos on the history and contemporary issues of "Suffrage in America.” Produced as an online course by the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier. Read more ▶

When Racial Divides are Used as a Campaign Strategy
November 18, 2015
The Atlantic | By Theodore R. Johnson and Leah Wright-Rigueur.

The Future of the Welfare State
November 17, 2015
Policy Network 
Peter A. Hall examines the difficulties facing the modern welfare state, the role of predistribution, and the politics of social investment. An excerpt from the Policy Network's new book, The Predistribution Agenda.

Race and Justice in America: An Atlantic Summit
November 12, 2015
The Atlantic
Devah Pager participated in a one-day summit organized by The Atlantic as a "breakthrough  explore the complicated history of the nation’s justice system and the future of prison reform." View the full program, speakers, and event video online. Pager appears in session 3: "Why We Incarcerate."
The Ten Year Challenge: A bold proposal to catalyze progress on key social policy challenges
November 11, 2015
Gov Innovator Podcast | Jeffrey Liebman joins a conversation with Andy Feldman (Ph.D. '07) to explain the Ten Year Challenge.

Q&A with Michèle Lamont, ASA President-Elect
November 11, 2015
ASA Culture Section
Michèle Lamont, President-elect of the American Sociological Association, talks about her plans for the 2017 ASA program,”Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion around the World,” the formative influences on her own work, and what she sees for the future of the field.

Why Do German Students Learn More, When Their School Get Less Money?
November 9, 2015
Education Next | By Paul E. Peterson

Causal Analysis of Non-Experimental Data
October 26, 2015
Serious Science
Sociologist Christopher Winship discusses how experimental thinking  can be applied in contexts where experiments are not possible. Part of Serious Science's online project to spread scientific ideas to a broad audience via conversations with scholars.


In the news

Electing to Ignore the Poorest of the Poor
November 17, 2015
The New York Times
Featuring perspectives of William Julius Wilson, Matthew Desmond, Robert Sampson, and Kristin Perkins (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy). 
New Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences launches with special two-volume issue: Severe Deprivation in America
November 17, 2015
The New York Times also highlighted the launch of a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal, RSF, which leads with a two-volume issue, 'Severe Deprivation in America,' edited by Matthew Desmond.

In addition to Desmond, the journal features articles by Inequality & Social Policy affiliates Christopher Wimer (Ph.D. '07), Kristin L. Perkins (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy) and Robert J. Sampson, Bruce Western, and David J. Harding (Ph.D. '05).

View Table of Contents
Issue 1 ▶
Issue 2 ▶
Why men get all the credit when they work with women
November 13, 2015
Washington Post
Research by Heather Sarsons (Ph.D. candidate in Economics) suggests that female economists who co-author papers with men pay a significant penalty in their tenure prospects that their male counterparts do not. 
View the research by Heather Sarsons ▶ 
How has the U.S. treated immigrants and refugees in the past? [video]
November 20, 2015 
CNNVan C. Tran (Ph.D. '11, now Columbia University). His interview begins at 1:55 mark.
Class Divides: Despite progress, road to economic success in America steeper for blacks than for whites
November 19, 2015
The Economist
Discusses research by Roland Fryer.

Too Young for Jail: Why it Makes Sense to Raise the Age of Juvenile Courts
November 17, 2015
The Economist
Discusses recent paper by Vincent Schiraldi, Bruce Western, and Kendra Bradner of the Malcolm Wiener Center's Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management.
What's past is prologue
November 13, 2015
Harvard Gazette
MacArthur Fellow and best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates joined a conversation with Bruce Western, Kathryn Edin (Johns Hopkins), and William Julius Wilson at the JFK Jr. Forum. Sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center.
Watch the video ▶

Cited: Christoper Muller
During his Forum event, Ta-Nehisi Coates cited the work of Christopher Muller (Ph.D. '14, now a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia University).
Watch [11:30 mark] ▶

Read the article
Northward Migration and the Rise of Racial Disparity in American Incarceration, 1880–1950, American Journal of Sociology 118, 2 (Sept 2012).
Authors Discuss Extreme Poverty at HKS Talk
November 11, 2015
Harvard Crimson 
Coverage of Malcolm Wiener Center event, "Coping with Extreme Poverty on $2.00 a Day," featuring the authors, Kathryn Edin (Johns Hopkins) and H. Luke Shaefer (University of Michigan), and discussion from David T. Ellwood and William Julius Wilson.
A call to build on differences: In Harvard visit the Aga Khan stresses opportunity in diversity
November 13, 2015
Harvard Gazette
Michèle Lamont, director of Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, welcomes the Aga Khan and highlights the significance of his visit in the context of the center's shift to a broader agenda of comparative global and transnational themes, with a focus on inequality and social inclusion.

Even Famous Female Economists Get No Respect
November 11, 2015
The New York Times
By Justin Wolfers (Ph.D. '01). The correct citation is Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz. (Likewise, Anne Case and Angus Deaton).

America may be in a reinforcing feedback loop of growing inequality and Republican rule
November 4, 2015
Vox | Discusses new article by Torben Iversen and David Soskice (LSE), which develops an informational model to explain why growing income inequality in the U.S. is associated with polarization in Congress but not in the mass electorate. Read Iversen-Soskice's article in Comparative Political Studies ▶


Barriers to Shared Growth: The Case of Land Use Regulation and Economic Rents
November 20, 2015
Council of Economic Advisers | Remarks by CEA Chairman Jason Furman on the relationship between land-use regulations, productivity, inequality, and mobility draw on research by Edward Glaeser, Raven Saks Molloy (Ph.D. '05, now Section Chief, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System), Daniel Shoag (Ph.D. '11, now HKS faculty), and Albert Saiz (Ph.D. '02, now MIT faculty).

Why White House Economists Worry About Land-Use Regulations
November 20, 2015
Wall Street Journal
Delves into papers by Raven Molloy (Ph.D. '05) and by Peter Ganong (a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in Economics) and Daniel Shoag (Ph.D. '11, now HKS faculty), highlighted by CEA Chair Jason Furman in his keynote address at the Urban Institute.

There is no such thing as a city that has run out of room
October 6, 2015
Washington Post
Highlights calculation by Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag (Ph.D. '11, now HKS faculty) that nearly a third of the decrease in U.S. economic inequality between 1940-1980 can be explained by workers moving from poor states to rich ones. 
View more recent version of this paper ▶
Claudia Goldin to deliver 8th annual Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture at Columbia University
November 19, 2015
Claudia Goldin will deliver the eighth annual Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture at Columbia University, "Career and Family: Collision Course or Confluence of Desires?", on December 10, 2015. Kenneth J. Arrow (Stanford), Christopher Flinn (NYU), and Joseph Stiglitz 
(Columbia) will serve as discussants.

Symposium on Housing, Segregation, and Poverty
November 17, 2015
Rutgers University
Jackelyn Hwang (Ph.D. ’15, now a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University) and Jessica Simes (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology) were among the speakers at a conference organized by Rutgers Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE), directed by Paul Jargowski. Learn more about their research: Jackelyn Hwang and Jessica Simes.

New inequality research

Social Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution
November 19, 2015
Awardees | Stefanie Stantcheva and Alberto Alesina (Harvard Economics) have been awarded a Russell Sage Foundation grant to examine how perceptions of social mobility affect support for different types of redistributive policies.

How Rigid is the Wealth Structure and Why?
March 12, 2015
Awardees | Alexandra Killewald and Fabian Pfeffer (University of Michigan) have been awarded a Russell Sage Foundation grant, jointly funded with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to assess the strength and pattern of multi-generational wealth associations, and to explore the role of intergenerational transfers, home ownership and marriage in wealth mobility across generations.

'They Treat Us Like a Different Race': A Multi-city Project on Class-in-Race Inequality
March 12, 2015
Awardees | Jennifer Hochschild and Vesla Weaver (Ph.D. '07, now Yale University) have been awarded a Russell Sage Foundation grant to investigate the political effects of increased economic inequality within racial and ethnic groups.

Ph.D. fellows on the job market

Hire an Inequality & Social Policy fellow
Harvard Ph.D. candidates in Economics, Education, Government, Sociology, and Social Policy now on the academic job market.

New academic publications by Ph.D. fellows

Jack, Anthony Abraham. Forthcoming. “(No) Harm in Asking: Class, Acquired Cultural Capital, and Academic Engagement at an Elite University,Sociology of Education.

Perkins, Kristin L., and Robert J. Sampson. 2015. “Compounded Deprivation in the Transition to Adulthood: The Intersection of Racial and Economic Inequality Among Chicagoans, 1995–2013RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 1 (1): 35-54.

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Part of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. 

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