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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

Democracy Under Siege

A forum on money in politics, the shifting organizational terrain, and implications for American democracy

Professor Theda Skocpol and doctoral fellow Alex Hertel-Fernandez of Harvard University were joined by Jacob Hacker of Yale, Martin Gilens of Princeton, and Benjamin Page of Northwestern University for "Democracy Under Siege", a Scholars Strategy Network forum at Harvard University, co-sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center, Oct 29, 2015.

The forum presented new research on money and inequality in U.S. politics, and the shifting organizational terrain on both the left and right.

View the video here or browse the background research and briefs.

Prof. Matthew Desmond
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Insight & analysis

When Does Accountability Work?
October 27, 2015
Education Next
By David Deming, Faculty and Ph.D. '10; Sarah Cohodes, Ph.D. '15, now Columbia University; Jennifer Jennings, NYU, and Christopher Jencks, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy.
When Moving Matters: Residential and Economic Mobility Trends in America, 1880-2010.
November 10, 2015
Manhattan Institute | By Scott Winship (Ph.D. '09)

A new podcast on politics, policy, and social issues

The Scholars Strategy Network has launched a new podcast, which presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Subscribe in iTunes, or listen to individual episodes at the SSN website.

The Kochs, Americans for Prosperity, and the Right
October 28, 2015
No Jargon [Ep. 1]| Theda Skocpol kicks off the series with a discussion of the Shifting Terrain project. 

Business at the Ballot Box

November 4, 2015
No Jargon [Ep. 5] | Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy, discusses his research on how small business interests are influencing politics.
What about measuring beyond reading and math scores?
November 4, 2015
Boston Globe—HKS PolicyCast | Interview with Ronald Ferguson, Harvard Achievement Gap Initiative.

The Myth of the Vanishing Pay Raise
November 4, 2015
Forbes | By Scott Winship (Ph.D. '09)

Immigration is an important dimension in how we understand gentrification across U.S. Cities
November 3, 2015
LSE U.S. Centre | By Jackelyn Hwang (Ph.D. '15, now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University).

The Loneliness of the Black Republican
November 3, 2015
The New Republic—Intersection | Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.

The left's painful—but necessary—conversation about crime & punishment
October 29, 2015
Salon | Explores new book by Michael Javen Fortner (Ph.D. '10), the controversy it has generated, and implications for contemporary criminal justice reform.

What is the Biggest Misconception About Racism?
October 28, 2015
The Atlantic [video, 3 minutes] | Bruce Western is among those interviewed in this video segment filmed earlier this year at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Also featured: Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, student activist Clifton Kinnie of Howard University, Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, and Tracey Meares of Yale Law School.

Humans need not apply: Will the robot economy pit entrepreneurship against equality?
October 28, 2015
Institute for Policy Research | Text of Andrew Leigh’s (Ph.D. '04) Distinguished Public Policy Lecture at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. Leigh is a Member of Parliament and Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

Will the Robot Economy Endanger Equality?
October 27, 2015
WBEZ Chicago | Guest: Andrew Leigh (Ph.D. '04)

Employer Political Coercion: A Growing Threat
October 26, 2015
The American Prospect | By Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy. Appears in fall 2015 print edition. View author's reprint (PDF).

Self-Selection of Emigrants: Theory and Evidence on Stochastic Dominance in Observable and Unobservable Characteristics
October 26, 2015
HKS Working Paper Series | By George Borjas.

The Influence of Teaching
October 26, 2015
The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University | By Ronald F. Ferguson, Sarah F. Phillips (Tripod Education Partners), Jacob F.S. Rowley (Tripod Education Partners), and Jocelyn W. Friedlander (AGI).

Historical Method and the Noble Lie
October 23, 2015
Boston Review | Michael Javen Fortner (Ph.D. '10) responds to "Who's to Blame for Mass Incarceration?," Donna Murch's review of his new book, Black Silent Majority, published by Harvard University Press in September.

New Study Outlines Impacts of Higher Health Insurance Deductibles
October 22, 2015
Harvard Kennedy School | Amitabh Chandra

The Siren Song of the Flat Tax
October 21, 2015
Morning Consult | By Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '14) and Andrea Campbell (MIT)

Forget Denmark: The United States Should Emulate Canada
October 18, 2015
The Atlantic | By Victor Tan Chen (Ph.D. '12), author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy, published by University of California Press earlier this year.

Police Killings of Blacks: Here is What the Data Say
October 16, 2015
The New York Times | By Sendhil Mullainathan

The Sanders Phenomenon
October 13, 2015
n +1 | By Daniel Schlozman (Ph.D.'11)

Changes in Substance Abuse Treatment Use Among Individuals With Opioid Use Disorders in the United States, 2004-2013
October 13, 2015
JAMA (Research Letter) | By Brendan Saloner (Ph.D. '12, now a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and Shankar Karthikeyan (also Bloomberg School of Public Health).

Why Angus Deaton Deserved the Nobel Prize
October 12, 2015
The New York Times | By Justin Wolfers (Ph.D. '01)

Improving the outcomes of disadvantaged youth by teaching them to be less automatic
October 11, 2015
Gov Innovator Podcast | Andy Feldman (Ph.D. '07) interviews Jens Ludwig, Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

Catching Up with Science: Rethinking How our Criminal Justice System Responds to Young Adults
October 9, 2015
William T. Grant Foundation | By Vincent Schiraldi and Bruce Western, Senior Research Fellow and Faculty Chair, respectively, of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Malcolm Wiener Center.


In the news

The Closest Look Yet at Gentrification and Displacement
November 2, 2015
The Atlantic—CityLab | Jackelyn Hwang (Ph.D.'15, now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University).
Ban the box: President Obama's plan to help ex-prisoners get jobs, explained
November 2, 2015
Vox | Devah Pager, Bruce Western featured in this look at the research behind the policy.

Jeb Bush says the middle class gets the biggest break under his plan
November 9, 2015
Politifact | Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '15) quoted in an analysis of Jeb Bush tax plan claims, which Politifact rates "mostly false."

Connecticut's governor wants to try 19- and 20-year-olds as minors. Why it's a great idea.
November 6, 2015
Vox | Cites Vincent Schiraldi (Senior Research Fellow) and Bruce Western (Faculty Chair) of the Malcolm Wiener Center's Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, who recently proposed raising the juvenile justice age to 21, arguing in the Washington Post that criminal justice policy should reflect developments in brain science and developmental psychology.

What's Driving Inequality: CEO Pay or Company Success?
November 5, 2015
Wall Street Journal | Is income inequality driven by inequality between or within firms? Outlines the empirical evidence, including findings from research last year by Richard Freeman and colleagues.

Acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates will speak in Cambridge next week
November 4, 2015
Boston Globe | Coverage of the upcoming "Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates," a JFK Jr Forum event sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. Bruce Western, Kathryn Edin (Johns Hopkins University), and William Julius Wilson will also be participating in this event.

For HUD, much done, more to do
November 4, 2015
Harvard Gazette | At a conference in Atlanta, Harvard President Drew Faust, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and others discuss half a century of efforts to battle inequality in housing.

Mehta Named Commissioner of NCTAF
November 3, 2015
Harvard Graduate School of Education | Jal Mehta (Faculty, Ph.D. '06) has been named a commissioner with the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.
The Mystery of the Vanishing Pay Raise
October 31, 2015
The New York Times | Lawrence Katz comments on the significance and likely causes of labor's declining share of corporate income, at its lowest level since 1951.
The trick that could get Republicans behind redistribution
October 31, 2015
Salon | Piece by Sean McElwee of Demos cites new study by Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy) on interest mobilization and party coalitions in U.S. tax politics. View original study►

School testing a mixed bag, study says
October 30, 2015
Harvard Gazette | Examines new findings by David Deming (Faculty and Ph.D. '10), Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. '15, now Columbia), Jennifer Jennings (NYU), and Christopher Jencks.

Making the Case: GOP Targets Conservative Black Women
October 28, 2015
NBC News | Leah Wright Rigueur quoted.

Study: Food stamps do much more to fight poverty than we thought
October 27, 2015
Vox | Situates findings as part of broader trend to reexamine results of the War on Poverty and the social safety net, including recent analyses by Christopher Wimer (Ph.D. '07) and by Christopher Jencks.

Who Wins and Who Loses? Debunking 7 Persistent Tax Reform Myths
October 22, 2015
Center for American Progress | Cites research presented by Stefanie Stantcheva in the Inequality Seminar last spring, "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes:  A Tale of Three Elasticities," co-athored with Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics) and Emmanuel Saez (UC Berkeley).

The most important debate in immigration economics right now, explained
October 21, 2015
Vox | Discusses reanalysis by George Borjas of the effects of the 1980 Mariel boatlift on Miami-area wages.

Why What You Learned in Preschool is Essential at Work
October 16, 2015
The New York Times | Discussion of new work by David Deming (faculty and Ph.D. '10) on the importance of social skills in the labor market. He first presented this work in the Inequality Seminar earlier this month.

What Could Raising Taxes on the 1% Do? Surprising Amounts
October 16, 2015
The New York Times | Cites study by Adam Looney (Ph.D. '04, now U.S. Treasury Dept) and Kevin B. Moore (Federal Reserve), which found the long-term reduction in capital gains rate to be the primary reason for the "muted effectiveness" of the income tax system in reducing wealth inequality. View the original study.

Alicia Sasser Modestino appointed to board of Massachusetts Housing Partnership
October 15, 2015
Northeastern School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs | Alicia Sasser Modestino (Ph.D. '01)

This study is forcing economists to rethink high-deductible health insurance
October 14, 2015
Vox | Amitabh Chandra

Landlords eager for Section 8 tenants may undermine voucher program
October 14, 2015
WBEZ Chicago | Eva Rosen (Ph.D. '14) interviewed.

The last time women surpassed men in schooling
October 13, 2015
Washington Post | Cites and recommends work by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz.

Why 80 Percent of Addicts Can't Get Treatment
October 13, 2015
The Atlantic | Brendan Saloner (Ph.D. '12)

Taking Nothing for Granted
October 13, 2015
GSAS Bulletin | Anthony Jack, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, profiled: "How one GSAS student challenges assumptions about the undergraduate experience."

¿Cuánto más podrías ganar en tu vida adulta por haber tenido un buen maestro de primaria?
October 12, 2015
La Nación (Argentina) | Interview with Jonah Rockoff (Ph.D. '04, now Columbia Business School)

Koch Political Network Takes a Deep Dive into Community Organizing
October 12, 2015
NPR Morning Edition | Theda Skocpol


Brendan Saloner named National Academy of Medicine Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics
October 19, 2015
Awardee | Brendan Saloner (Ph.D '12).


Roland Fryer speaks at AAAS Induction Ceremony
October 10, 2015
American Academy of Arts & Sciences | Roland Fryer, a newly-elected member in the 235th class of Fellows, addressed the group as the Class III speaker, representing the social sciences at the American Academy's 2015 Induction Ceremony. View his address
[15 min].

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.

Upcoming events

Coping with Extreme Poverty on $2.00 a Day
TODAY—Nov 10, 2015
Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy event
With the authors, Kathryn Edin, Johns Hopkins University, and H. Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan. Discussion by David T. Ellwood, Harvard Kennedy School, and William Julius Wilson, Harvard University.
A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates
November 11, 2015
A JFK Jr Forum event by the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
With Bruce Western, Harvard University (moderator), Kathryn Edin, Johns Hopkins University, and William Julius Wilson, Harvard University.
Note: Ticket lottery is now closed. but event will be live-streamed.

Race, Public Opinion, and the Fight Over Reparations in the Age of Obama
November 18, 2015
Race in American Politics Seminar Series
Seminar with Michael C Dawson, University of Chicago.
Ash Center, co-sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center.

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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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