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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


Highlights from Inequality & Social Policy
at the Malcolm Wiener Center

Harvard welcomed a new class of Ph.D. students this past week with GSAS Orientation in Sanders Theatre. We look forward to introducing some new affiliates of our own in the coming weeks.

The Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series resumes Monday, Sept 14, with Alexandre Mas, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Details can be found in the right sidebar below. We will be circulating the full seminar calendar shortly.

Browse below for the latest insight and analysis, Inequality in-the-news, and noteworthy developments from Inequality & Social Policy.

Find us on the web

Insight & analysis

Research: Technology Is Only Making Social Skills More Important
August 26, 2015
Harvard Business Review 
David J. Deming, faculty member and Ph.D. '10.

Discussion of "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," new NBER paper by David Deming. 
Ungated version ►

More about this work

The Best Jobs Now Require You to Be a People Person—And that's better news for women than for men
August 25, 2015
David J. Deming (Faculty, Ph.D. '10)

Social Skills May Be the Key to Career Success

August 21, 2015
The Atlantic
David J. Deming (Faculty, Ph.D. '10)

Les métiers les mieux payés exigent d’être sociable: bonne nouvelle pour les femmes
August 28, 2015
Slate (France)
David J. Deming (Faculty, Ph.D. '10).
How the Christian Right Ended Up Transforming American Politics
August 25, 2015
TPM—Talking Points Memo | By Daniel Schlozman (Ph.D. '11). See Daniel Schlozman's new book, When Movements Anchor Parties (Princeton University Press), in right sidebar of this newsletter.

New Orleans: Ten Years Later [Event video] 
August 24, 2015
The Atlantic | Conversation with Michael Henderson (Ph.D. '11) on "Views of the Recovery: New Data Tell the Story." The Atlantic hosted the event to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. 

The Sources of Boston Crime Guns
August 28, 2015
Harvard Kennedy School: Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston | By Anthony A. Braga (Rutgers) and David M. Hureau (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy). This Policy Brief draws directly from their forthcoming article, “Strong Gun Laws Are Not Enough: The Need for Improved Enforcement of Secondhand Gun Transfer Laws in Massachusetts.” Preventative Medicine 79 (October 2015) 37-42. ►

Federal Meddling in School Discipline
August 24, 2015
National Review | By Paul E. Peterson

Common Core: How Much Do People Know About Its Real Impact?
August 19, 2015
Education Next | By Paul E. Peterson

The 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform
August 18, 2015
Education Next | By Michael B. Henderson (Ph.D. '11), Paul E. Peterson, and Martin R. West (faculty and Ph.D. '06)

The Future of Work: Who Owns the Robot in Your Future?
August 17, 2015
Pacific Standard | By Richard Freeman

Too Much Information: Making Transparency Good for You
August 17, 2015
Boston Review | By Archon Fung and  Elena Fagotto (Harvard Transparency Policy Project). How to make transparency and disclosure rules work better for citizens and consumers.

Bernie Sanders, black lives matter, and the political wisdom of holding allies accountable
August 15, 2015
Newsweek | By Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '15). Originally published by the Brookings Institution.

The Future of Work: The Water Cooler and the Fridge
August 13, 2015
Pacific Standard | By Mario L. Small (Faculty, Ph.D. '01)

It's a Left-Handed Show
August 13, 2015
NPR—The Colin McEnroe Show | With guest Joshua Goodman, author of "The Wages of Sinistrality," in honor of Left Hander's Day.

Teachers and schools funded at higher rate than most people know
August 13, 2015
The Washington Times | By Paul E. Peterson

Income Inequality or Economic Mobility—Which is More Important?
August 6, 2015
WNET—Chasing the Dream | Scott Winship (Ph.D. '09)

The Voting Rights Act turns 50. Here are three trends in minority voting you should know about.
August 6, 2015
Washington Post | By Bernard L. Fraga (Ph.D. '13)

Learning about job search: A 'nudge' to tackle long-term unemployment
August 3, 2015
VoxEU—CEPR's Policy Portal | By Steffen Altmann (University of Copenhagen), Armin Falk (University of Bonn), Simon Jäger (Harvard Ph.D. candidate in Economics), and Florian Zimmermann (University of Zurich).

How far apart are Democrats and Republicans on school reform?
August 3, 2015
Brookings Institution—Brown Center Chalkboard | By Michael B. Henderson (Ph.D. '11)

A New Look at Tracking in Boston Schools
August 3, 2015
BNN TV | Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. '15)  interviewed about her research on the effects of advanced-work classes in the Boston Public Schools.

Turning the EITC into an emergency savings tool for low-wage workers
July 30, 2015
The Hill | By Kathryn Edin (Johns Hopkins), Sarah Halpern-Meekin (Ph.D.'09), Sarah S. Greene (Ph.D.'14), and Ezra Levin (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

No full-time worker should live in poverty
July 30, 2015
Newsday | By Victor Tan Chen (Ph.D. '12). See Victor Tan Chen's new book, Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy (University of California Press), in the right sidebar of this newsletter.

Public supports testing, opposes opt-out, opposes federal intervention
July 28, 2015
Education Next | By Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West (faculty and Ph.D. '06)

Why spreading profits and capital ownership is the best way to reduce income inequality in America
July 28, 2015
Scholars Strategy Network | By Joseph R. Blasi, Douglas L. Kruse (Rutgers), and Richard B. Freeman

Why Investing is So Complicated, and How to Make It Simpler
July 11, 2015
The New York Times | By Sendhil Mullainathan

Income Inequality and Why You Should Care
June 29, 2015
WNYC—The Leonard Lopate Show | Guests: Justin Wolfers (Ph.D. '01), Susan Dynarski (University of Michigan).


In the news

Defending Their Homes: How anti-crime mobilization of African-Americans helped spur mass incarceration
August 3, 2015
Chronicle of Higher Education
Michael Javen Fortner
(Ph.D. '10), talks about his new book, Black Silent Majority, published by Harvard University Press. See new books in right sidebar of this newsletter.
College Calculus: What Is College Worth?
August 31, 2015
The New Yorker | Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz

Saving SSDI
August 31, 2015
The Atlantic | Addresses recent articles by Jeffrey Liebman and by Scott Winship (Ph.D. '09)

When Katrina evacuees moved to new places, people's attitudes changed—for the worse
August 30, 2015
Washington Post | Dan Hopkins (Ph.D. '07)

Southern Justice Now Comes with Diplomas
August 29, 2015
Christian Science Monitor | Cites study by Bruce Western and Christopher Wildeman (Cornell University)

What Do Americans Really Think about Education Policy?
August 25, 2015
The Atlantic | Paul Peterson comments on two recent surveys in education policy.

Life After Hurricane Katrina
August 24, 2015
The Atlantic | Michael Henderson (Ph.D. '11). Ten years later, a new study shows optimism among residents in New Orleans, but also persistent divides.

Racially Disparate Views of New Orleans's Recovery After Hurricane Katrina
August 24, 2015
The New York Times | Discussion of survey directed by Michael Henderson (Ph.D. '11)

Has New Orleans recovered since Katrina? Depends on who you ask
August 24, 2015
The New Orleans Advocate | Michael Henderson (Ph.D. '11)

Private Conflict, Not Broken Windows
August 24, 2015
The Atlantic—CityLab | Discusses recent study by Robert J. Sampson and Daniel Tumminelli (Northeastern University

Five Theories of Donald Trump
August 22, 2015
The New Yorker | Notes Theda Skocpol's assessment from front-page story in the Boston Globe.

Fafsa Follies: To Gain a Student, Eliminate a Form
August 21, 2015
The New York Times | Column by Susan Dynarski (University of Michigan) highlights findings of research with Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09). They detailed how an application-free financial aid system could work in an earlier Hamilton Project discussion paper ►

However it ends, Trump's surge is historic
August 21, 2015
Boston Globe | Theda Skocpol quoted on how Donald Trump is able to take advantage of current dynamics in American politics.

Climate wonks focus on economics. They need to pay more attention to politics.
August 20, 2015
Vox | Theda Skocpol

"Cowboy Doctors" and Health Costs
August 20, 2015
Harvard Magazine | Discusses study co-authored by David Cutler (Economics) and Ariel Dora Stern (HBS faculty and Ph.D. '14)

First Year, First Generation: Consider the placement test
August 20, 2015
WHYY Newsworks | Highlights Judith Scott-Clayton's (Ph.D. '09) research on the consequences of misplacement in remedial classes, which has set off a wave of reform.

Starting Over: Many Katrina victims left New Orleans for good. What can we learn from them?
August 17, 2015
The New Yorker | Robert Sampson, Patrick Sharkey (Ph.D. '07)

The most neglected fact in immigration economics
August 17, 2015
Vox | George Borjas

Undocumented Immigrants Taking Jobs from US Citizens? Most Americans Believe Immigration is Bad for Economy
August 14, 2015
International Business Times | Cites analysis by Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago) and Adam Looney (Ph.D. '04) that on average immigrant workers increase opportunities and incomes of Americans.

Katrina's Emotional Legacy Includes Pain, Grief, and Resilience
August 14, 2015
NPR Morning Edition | Mary Waters research with Jean Rhodes (University of Massachusetts).

A left-handed compliment for the sinistral set
August 13, 2015
Boston Globe | Cites Joshua S. Goodman research on left-handedness, brain structure, and human capital accumulation, which is now available (open-access) from the Journal of Economic Perspectives ►

Let's Expose the Gender Pay Gap
August 13, 2015
The New York Times | Op-ed cites Claudia Goldin's findings on the gender gap within occupations.

New Medical Devices Get to Patients Too Slowly
August 11, 2015
Forbes | Discusses research by Ariel Dora Stern (HBS faculty, Ph.D. '14).

Sandra Bland: Texas records show racial breakdown of those stopped by same trooper
August 10, 2015
Los Angeles Times | Phillip Atiba Goff, Visiting Scholar, Malcolm Wiener Center.

Immigration May Actually Reduce Crime Rates
August 10, 2015
Pacific Standard | Reviews findings of Robert Sampson and others.

Why Are Black Americans at Greater Risk of Being Poor?
August 10, 2015
Newsweek | Patrick Sharkey (Ph.D. '07)

America's Biggest Problem Isn't Income Inequality. It's Concentrated Poverty
August 10, 2015
The Atlantic—CityLab | Highlights work of Robert Sampson and Patrick Sharkey (Ph.D. '07) in demonstrating wide-ranging effects of concentrated poverty.

Germany's bizarre version of capitalism—where bosses and workers actually cooperate—is winning
August 9, 2015
Quartz | Peter Hall comments

College placement exam comes under new scrutiny
August 8, 2015
Boston Globe | Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09)

Lessons of Yonkers from David Simon's 'Show Me a Hero'
August 7, 2015
The New York Times | Robert J. Sampson

Tracking Police Violence a Year after Ferguson
August 7, 2015
FiveThirtyEight | Phillip Atiba Goff, Visiting Scholar, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.

Why American Teens Aren't Working Summer Jobs Anymore
August 7, 2015
Bloomberg Business | Alicia Sasser Modestino (Ph.D. '01)

The secret to Asian Americans' success (it's not what you think)
August 4, 2015 | Sociologist Jennifer Lee (UC Irvine) article cites early George Borjas research on "ethnic capital"

Is the skills gap real? Economists challenge a politician's truism
August 2, 2015
The Boston Globe | Alicia Sasser Modestino (Ph.D. '01)

Can Bernie Sanders Win Minority Hearts, and Votes?
July 31, 2015
TruthDig | Jennifer Hochschild

David Simon of 'The Wire' finds drama in public housing. But will the public tune in?
July 30, 2015
Washington Post | William Julius Wilson quoted

RI Governor vows overhaul of Department of Children, Youth, and Families
July 30, 2015
The Providence Journal | Notes work of Jeffrey Liebman and Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Harvard to Launch Partnering in Education Research Predoctoral Training Program
July 30, 2015
Harvard Graduate School of Education | Thomas Kane

A fascinating color-coded map of every job in America
July 29, 2015
Vox | Robert Manduca, Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy

Uber, But for Job Growth
July 29, 2015
New York | Lawrence Katz

'Brave in Chiraq' Documentary Goes Beyond the Violence
July 29, 2015
Chicago Magazine | Robert Sampson

Profit-sharing is a win-win
July 28, 2015
Boston Globe | Op-ed by Hillary Clinton refers to research by Richard Freeman and co-authors  Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse (both of Rutgers University) in their book, The Citizen's Share (Yale University Press, 2013)

A $15 minimum wage, but why just for fast-food workers?
July 28, 2015
The New York Times| Lawrence Katz

Schools are able to hire stronger teachers when economy is weak, study finds
July 28, 2015
Washington Post | Martin R. West (faculty and Ph.D. '06). New paper examines how alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality.

There are probably more people in the 'gig economy' than we realize
July 27, 2015
Fusion | Lawrence Katz

More children living in poverty now than in recession
July 21, 2015
USA Today | Deirdre Bloome (Ph.D. '14) quoted.

The High Cost of Alzheimer's Disease Misdiagnosis
July 18, 2015
Medscape | Noam Kirson (Ph.D. 08)

The New Melting Pots
July 16, 2015
National Journal | Cites George Borjas research on wage effects for native-born high school dropouts.

Growth in 'Gig Economy' Fuels Work Force Anxieties
July 12, 2015
The New York Times |Cites study by Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago) and Adam Looney (Ph.D. '04) on trends in men's real earnings.

Technology: Barriers to Misuse. How new pill formulations and manufacturing technologies are helping stem tide of painkiller addition.
June 25, 2015
Nature | Noam Kirson (Ph.D. '08)

The CEO backlash
June 21, 2015
Washington Post | Columnist Robert J. Samuelson draws from work by Carola Frydman (Ph.D. '06) and Raven Saks Molloy (Ph.D. '05)

Do a state's politics influence its greenhouse gas emissions?
June 15, 2015
Los Angeles Times | Theda Skocpol provides perspective on new study.

HUD considers change to Section 8 rents
June 10, 2015
Baltimore Sun | Eva Rosen (Ph.D. '14)

Are remedial courses actually hurting community college students?
June 10, 2015
Washington Post | Judy Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09)

How Will the Economy's 'Lost Decade' Play Out in 2016?
June 9, 2015
The New Yorker | David Mericle (Ph.D. '12)

Give to Those at the Bottom? Sure, as Long as They Stay There
June 8, 2015
The New York Times | Stefanie Stantcheva. Study co-authored by  Ilyana Kuziemko (Princeton), Emmanuel Saez (UC Berkeley), Stefanie Stantcheva, and Michael Norton (HBS) discussed.



Monica Bell receives four ASA awards for outstanding paper
August 23, 2015
Awardee | Monica C. Bell, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy

New books releasing this week

When Movements Anchor Parties: Electoral Alignments in American History
By Daniel Schlozman (Ph.D. '11). Princeton University Press, August 2015.
The Luck of Politics
By Andrew Leigh (Ph.D. '04). Black, Inc., August 2015.
Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment
By Michael Javen Fortner (Ph.D. '10). Harvard University Press, August 2015.

Summer releases

Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy
By Victor Tan Chen (Ph.D. '12). University of California Press, July 2015.
Schooling the Next Generation
By Dan Zuberi (Ph.D. '04). University of Toronto Press, June 2015.

Inequality & Social Policy Seminar

Begins Monday, Sep 14, 2015

Fall 2015 schedule coming soon

Alexandre Mas
Professor of Economics, Princeton University.

Date: Mon, Sep 14, 2015
Time: 12:00-1:45 pm
Place: CGIS South-020*

*Note: Location is for this seminar only. Subsequent seminars will meet at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Events of interest

W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center: What Have We Learned about Culture and Black Youth?

Orlando Patterson
John Cowles Professor of Sociology, Harvard University.

Date: Wed, Sep 9, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: Thompson Room, Barker Center, 12 Quincy St, Cambridge.

The Hutchins Center

Did we miss anything?

Please let us know!

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Copyright © 2015 Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University, All rights reserved.
Part of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. 

Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JKF Street (Box 103)
Cambridge MA 02138


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