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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

In the spotlight this week: The President talks poverty; Doctoral fellows' research draws national coverage.

Browse the headlines below to catch up on the latest insights and analysis, Inequality in the news, and noteworthy developments from the Malcolm Wiener Center's Inequality & Social Policy program. 

More on our website

Insight & analysis

Is your boss influencing your political views?
May 14, 2015
MSNBC | Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy, joins a conversation about his latest research findings concerning political pressure in the workplace and what it means for workers' rights.
Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25
May 15, 2015
The American Prospect 
Links to some of its most influential articles over the past 25 years, including those by William Julius Wilson, Jane Mansbridge, Christopher Jencks, David Ellwood, Mary Jo Bane, Robert Putnam, and Theda Skocpol.

The complete spring 2015 anniversary issue, with "rolling back inequality" as its central theme, has also been made available (with email registration) as a free PDF download.

HUD's Research Roadmap: Interview with Katherine O'Reagan, Asst. Secretary, U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development
May 15, 2015
Gov Innovator Podcast | Hosted by Andy Feldman (Ph.D. '07)

Developing Positive Young Adults: Lessons from Two Decades of YouthBuild Programs
May 13, 2015
MDRC | By Ronald F. Ferguson, Jason Snipes (WestEd), Farhana Hossain (MDRC), and Michelle S. Manno (MDRC)

Has Middle-Class Pay Risen as Much as It Should Have?
May 12, 2015
Forbes | By Scott Winship (Ph.D. '09) 

The Politics of Fear: What the British election says about how parties win elections in a climate of slow growth
May 10, 2015
Washington Post | By Peter A. Hall

The Real Baltimore Crisis: The more profound story the media narrative misses
May 10, 2015
Scholars Strategy Network | By Eva Rosen (Ph.D. '14)

The Real Problem with America's Inner Cities
May 9, 2015
New York Times | By Orlando Patterson. Also refers to forthcoming book by Michael Javen Fortner (Ph.D. '10), Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment, Harvard University Press.

Events of interest

Reflections on Issues of Race and Class in 21st Century America: Revisiting Arguments Advanced in 'The Declining Significance of Race' (1978)
May 21, 2015 (4-6 pm)
Library of Congress

William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard and current Kluge Scholar-in-Residence at the Library of Congress, will give a public lecture in the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building. 

Library of Congress ScholarFest 2015
June 10-11, 2015
A convergence of scholarly minds on Capitol Hill to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Library's John W. Kluge Center. Among the participants: William Julius Wilson and Jennifer Hochschild.


In the news

President joins Summit on Overcoming Poverty
May 12, 2015
President Barack Obama joined a conversation on overcoming poverty in the US with Robert Putnam, Arthur Brooks (AEI), and moderated by E.J. Dionne at Georgetown University.

In his remarks, President Obama also highlighted William Julius Wilson's earlier work in the The Truly Disadvantaged  [33:32 mark].  
View on C-Span ► 
Read the transcript ►

Mary Jo Bane took part in a separate panel that addressed how religious and national leaders might help make overcoming poverty "a clear moral imperative and an urgent national priority." Read more ►
How Your Hometown Affects Your Chances of Marriage
May 15, 2015
New York Times | Explores marriage findings in Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren's recently released research on the effects of exposure to better neighborhoods on children's long-term outcomes. Raj Chetty, the Bloomberg Professor of Economics at Harvard, first presented this work in the Malcolm Wiener Seminar, Jan 26, 2015. 

Why integrating America's neighborhoods and cities is harder than we think
May 15, 2015
Slate | Article discussing new experimental research by sociologist Maria Krysan (University of Illinois, Chicago) cites earlier related research by Devah Pager.

The Real Story of the American Family
May 14, 2015
The American Prospect | Review of Robert Putnam's Our Kids and Andrew Cherlin's Labor's Love Lost.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Get Hired: Does a Ban the Box Policy Work?
May 13, 2015
The New Republic | Devah Pager comments.

Brains, Schools, and a Vicious Cycle of Poverty
May 13, 2015
Wall Street Journal | Reviews study co-authored by Martin R. West (faculty and Ph.D. '06) on poverty, brain development, and test score gaps. (Note: Direct access to the article is limited to subscribers, but if one uses a Google search of the headline instead, the resulting WSJ link will provide complimentary access).

A Key Researcher Says 'Grit' Isn't Ready for High-Stakes Measures
May 13, 2015
NPR Ed | Draws on Martin R. West's (faculty and Ph.D. '06) earlier piece, "The Limitations of Self-Report Measures on Non-Cognitive Skills," which appeared in the Brookings Institution Brown Center Chalkboard series.

In frank language, Obama addresses poverty's roots
May 12, 2015
Washington Post | Robert Putnam

Obama Urges Liberals and Conservatives to Unite on Poverty
May 12, 2015
New York Times | Robert Putnam

As Middle Class Fades, So Does Use on the Campaign Trail
May 11, 2015
New York Times | William Julius Wilson underscores the "spectacular loss" of well-paying jobs at the middle of the distribution.

Why these summer jobs will matter for high schoolers
May 8, 2015
CNBC | Alicia Sasser Modestino (Ph.D. '01)

Paul Ryan loves talking about poverty, but he keeps getting the basic facts wrong
May 5, 2015
Vox | Presents calculations of Christopher Wimer (Ph.D. '07) and colleagues of the Supplemental Poverty Rate


Smart Social Programs
May 11, 2015
The New York Times 
Op-ed by Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, on the substantial long-term benefits of social policy investments in families. Highlights research by Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy) and collaborators on Medicaid and education outcomes.

Also featured: new findings from the Moving to Opportunity experiment by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and Lawrence Katz (Harvard Economics), and research by Raj Chetty,  John Friedman (Brown University), and Jonah Rockoff (Ph.D. '04, now Columbia Business School) on the impact of the earned-income tax credit on test scores and subsequent earnings. 

Six Examples of the Long-Term Benefits of Anti-Poverty Programs
May 11, 2015
Council of Economic Advisers | CEA Chairman Jason Furman provides a more detailed discussion of the evidence underlying his New York Times op-ed on "Smart Social Programs." This brief discusses research by Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy), David Deming (faculty member and Ph.D. '10), Lawrence KatzJeffrey LiebmanJonah Rockoff (Ph.D. '04), and Christopher Wimer (Ph.D. '07).

Awards and honors

Anthony Jack awarded NAEd/Spencer dissertation fellowship
May 14, 2015
Awardee | Anthony A. Jack, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology

Hope Harvey selected to join UPenn Summer Institute on Inequality
May 14, 2015
Awardee | Hope Harvey, Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy 

Radcliffe Fellows for 2015-2016 announced
May 14, 2015
Harvard Magazine | Devah Pager

Ariel White named a Radcliffe Graduate Student Fellow for 2015-2016
May 14, 2015
Awardee | Ariel White, Ph.D. candidate in Government

Anthony A. Jack awarded SSSP paper prize in education
May 13, 2015
Awardee | Anthony A . Jack, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology 

Theda Skocpol to be awarded honorary degree by Columbia University
May 10, 2015
Awardee | Theda Skocpol
Harvard Ph.D. students (G-1s and G-2s):
Now inviting applications for 2015-2016 doctoral fellows. Deadline: May 18, 2015.
View brochure ►
Get application ►

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Part of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. 

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