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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.

12/31/2016

 

News roundup


Highlights from Inequality & Social Policy
at the Malcolm Wiener Center


The American Dream, Quantified at Last
December 8, 2016
The New York Times | Nathaniel Hendren, Assistant Professor of Economics, and Robert Manduca, Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy, are among a team of researchers from Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley who have released an important new study of economic mobility in the U.S., which finds that only half of Americans in their thirties earn more than their parents did at the same age. A few decades ago, nearly all did.

Economists Raj Chetty of Stanford and Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard, principal investigators for the Equality of Opportunity project, collaborated with sociologists David Grusky of Stanford, Maximilian Hell of Stanford, Robert Manduca of Harvard, and economist Jimmy Narang of UC Berkeley to produce the study, “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940.” The study incorporates results from an independent working paper by Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellow Robert Manduca, “Opportunity No More: Declining Absolute Mobility in the United States, 1940-2010.” Read more about his work: 
RobertManduca.com


Related coverage

American Dream collapsing for young adults, study says, as odds plunge that children will earn more than their parents
December 8, 2016
Washington Post 

Severe Inequality Is Incompatible with the American Dream
December 10, 2016
The Atlantic 

Is the American Dream Fading?
December 9, 2016
Pacific Standard | A conversation with Robert Manduca, one of the authors of the economic mobility study making waves this week. Manduca is an Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellow and a Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy at Harvard.

Inequality Is Killing The American Dream
December 8, 2016
FiveThirtyEight | Features Nathaniel Hendren, Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard and a co-author of the study.

The Erosion of the American Dream
December 19, 2016
WBUR Radio Boston | A conversation with Nathaniel Hendren, Assistant Professor of Economics and a co-author of the study.

How to Jump Start the American Dream
December 12, 2016
The Atlantic—CityLab | The odds that kids will do better than their parents have plummeted. One possible fix: Learn from the neighborhoods in which income mobility is still thriving. Features new study and earlier research by economists Raj Chetty of Stanford and Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard from their Equality of Opportunity project. 
 
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Insight and analysis

Bias in Criminal Risk Scores Is Mathematically Inevitable, Researchers Say
December 30, 2016
Pro Publica | Is it possible to create a criminal risk score formula "that is equally predictive for all races without disparities in who suffers the harm of incorrect predictions?" Pro Publica explains how "four groups of scholars, working separately and using different methodologies, all reached the same conclusion. It's not."

Discusses work on this problem by Jon Kleinberg (Cornell), Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard), and Manish Raghavan (Cornell) in a paper titled, "Inherent Trade-Offs in the Fair Determination of Risk Scores." These results, conclude Mullainathan and colleagues, "suggest some of the ways in which key notions of fairness are incompatible with each other, and hence provide a framework for thinking about the trade-offs between them."
View the research

Can Training Really Stop Police Bias?
December 29, 2016
U.S. News and World Report | Quotes Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

When telling the truth is actually dishonest
December 29, 2016
Washington Post | Interview with behavioral scientist Todd Rogers, Associate Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Artful Paltering: The Risks and Rewards of Using Truthful Statements to Mislead Others." The study is co-authored by Richard Zeckhauser (HKS), Francesca Gino (HBS), Michael I. Norton (HBS), and Maurice E. Schweitzer (University of Pennsylvania).
View the research

To Feel More Productive, Take a Break to Do Something Selfless
December 28, 2016
New York Magazine—The Science of Us | Discusses the research behind a recent Wall Street Journal column by behavioral researchers Cassie Mogilner Holmes (UCLA) and Michael Norton (Harvard Business School).
 
The Lists Told Us Otherwise
December 26, 2016
n+ 1 | The Democratic collapse and the ascent of Trumpism. By Daniel Schlozman (Ph.D. '11), Assistant Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University.

Schlozman is the author of When Movements Anchor Parties: Electoral Alignments in American History (Princeton University Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, conferred by the Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section of the American Sociological Association.
 
How to defend America the Indivisible
December 23, 2016
Washington Post | By Danielle Allen, Professor of Government and Director of the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard.
Video version 

Best of 2016: Part 1
December 23, 2016
TalkPoverty Radio | TalkPoverty Radio revisits some of its favorite interviews from 2016, beginning with Matthew Desmond, "whose 2016 book Evicted brings to center stage how eviction is both a cause and a consequence of poverty." Desmond is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard.
 
Monica Bell guests on 'Undisclosed'
December 22, 2016
Undisclosed (S2, Addendum 21) | Monica Bell, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy, talks class, race, and geography and how these shape trust and distrust in the criminal justice system. On the criminal justice podcast Undisclosed. Learn more about Monica Bell's research at her homepage: 
scholar.harvard.edu/bell 

Men still aren't comfortable with ambitious women
December 22, 2016
Slate | Discusses new NBER working paper by economist Amanda Pallais of Harvard, coauthored with Leonardo Bursztyn  of the University of Chicago and Thomas Fujiwara of Princeton, which "found that single women in an elite MBA program responded to a career survey with lower salary targets and acceptable levels of work travel if they thought their responses might be visible to their classmates." The paper is titled, "'Acting Wife': Marriage Market Incentives and Labor Market Investments."
View the research
 
Trump Is Going After Health Care. Will Democrats Push Back?
December 21, 2016
The New York Times | By Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology.

"...Repealing Obamacare means eliminating the taxes that subsidize health care for low- and middle-income people," a point that must be driven home, Skocpol writes. "That huge and immediate tax cut for the rich would lead to the demise of subsidized health insurance for millions of less privileged Americans in rural, suburban, and urban communities."
 
The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation.
December 21, 2016
The New York Times | Lawrence Katz quoted. “Over the long haul, clearly automation’s been much more important — it’s not even close,” said  Katz, an economics professor at Harvard who studies labor and technological change.

Residential Mobility by Whites Maintains Segregation Despite Recent Changes
December 21, 2016
NYU Furman Center | By Jackelyn Hwang (Ph.D. '15). Opening essay for Discussion 22: The Stubborn Persistence of Racial Segregation. Hwang is postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University, and in fall 2017 will join the Stanford University faculty as Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Attorneys: Cook County eviction court proceedings are ‘black box’
December 21, 2016
Chicago Reader | The odds of winning in eviction court are stacked against tenants; a lack of transparency is part of the problem, writes Maya Dukmasova. Cites Evicted by Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond on the role of evictions as a major contributing factor to entering and remaining entrenched in poverty.

The Spiritual Crisis of the Modern Economy
December 21, 2016
The Atlantic | By Victor Tan Chen (Ph.D. '12). On the hollowness of the modern economy and the effect it has on the working class. 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).

To Save Money, Pay Attention to Your Mood
December 20, 2016
New York Magazine—Science of Us | A look at the research on emotions and consumption by psychologist Jennifer S. Lerner, a Professor in the Management, Leadership, and Decision Science Area at the Harvard Kennedy School and Co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory.

Why Do We Still Have An Electoral College?
December 19, 2016
WBUR Radio Boston | A conversation with Alexander Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy. 
 
Breaking the Cycle of Compounded Adversity in the Lives of Institutionalized Youth
December 19, 2016
JAMA Pediatrics | Editorial by Robert J. Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences. "At the very least, we should redesign the juvenile system so that it does not exacerbate existing inequalities," writes Sampson.

Place-based economic policies as a response to populism
December 17, 2016
The Economist | Cites research by Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag on the dramatic decline in regional income convergence in the U.S. over the past 30 years. Shoag (Ph.D. '11) is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Ganong is a postdoctoral fellow at NBER and (beginning fall 2017) Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
​​​​​​​View the research

Tomás Jiménez: Immigration, the American Identity, and the Election
December 16, 2016
Peninsula TV—The Game |  Tomás Jiménez (Ph.D. '05), Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the program Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University, joins to talk about our history, where we are now, and where we might be going. Jiménez's newest book, due out in 2017, is The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants are Changing American Life (University of California Press).
 
Open Book: Bare-Knuckle Politics
December 15, 2016
Harvard Magazine | Excerpt from David A. Moss's forthcoming book, Democracy: A Case Study, available in January from Harvard University Press. Moss is the Paul Whiton Cherington Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and founder of The Tobin Project. 

"[D]emocratic decision-making in the United States has nearly always been rooted in disagreement and tension, including plenty of bare-knuckle politics...

"The critical question is what makes this conflict either constructive or destructive...In most periods across the nation’s history, it has served as a powerful source of strength. But not always. And this, in a nutshell, is what we need to figure out. Why has fierce political conflict proved highly constructive at many historical moments and severely destructive at others, and which type of conflict…characterizes the nation’s democracy today?"
 
My President Was Black
December 13, 2016
The Atlantic | Cover article by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Jan-Feb 2017 print issue) cites research by Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09) and Patrick Sharkey (Ph.D. '07). 

Judith Scott-Clayton, now Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, found that the black-white disparity in student loan debt more than triples after graduation, driven by differences in interest accrual and graduate school borrowing. "While previous work has documented racial disparities in student borrowing, delinquencies, and defaults," Scott-Clayton and her co-author write, "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."

Learn more about this research, which Scott-Clayton wrote about for the Brookings Institution "Evidence Speaks" series in October 2016. 

Coates also cites Patrick Sharkey, Professor of Sociology at New York University, whose book, Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality (University of Chicago Press, 2013), showed that black families making $100,000 a year or more live in more-disadvantaged neighborhoods than white families making less than $30,000.

See also
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: “There’s not gonna be a happy ending to this story”
    December 14, 2016
    The Ezra Klein Show | Interview with author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who discusses his cover article in the current issue of the Atlantic based on hours of interviews with President Obama. 

    Asked about "a few of the data points" that have influenced his thinking, Coates cites the work of Harvard sociologists Robert Sampson on neighborhoods and Devah Pager's experimental audit studies of discrimination in the labor market.

Kanye West, Jim Brown, Ray Lewis meet with Trump in NYC
December 13, 2016
Associated Press | Quoted: Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.
 
What Do Parents Think of Their Children’s Schools?
December 13, 2016
Education Next |  By Samuel Barrows, Paul E. Peterson, and Martin R. West. EdNext poll compares charter, district, and private schools nationwide. 

Samuel Barrows (Ph.D. '14) is a postdoctoral fellow at the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at the Harvard Kennedy School. Paul E. Peterson is Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University and director of PEPG. Martin R. West (Ph.D '06), editor-in-chief of Education Next, is associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and deputy director of PEPG.
  • How Does Parental Satisfaction Vary across School Sectors?
    December 14, 2016
    EdNext Podcast | Paul E. Peterson and Marty West discuss the findings of two polls on parental opinion.
     
  • Trump’s Education Pick: A Win for Public-School Parents
    December 12, 2016
    Wall Street Journal | By Paul E. Peterson, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard. Differences in satisfaction levels between parents with children in public schools versus private and charter schools—revealed in Education Next's 2016 national survey—suggest that school choice might be the answer for parents who want more for their kids, Peterson argues.
Profit Sharing Boosts Employee Productivity and Satisfaction
December 13, 2016
Harvard Business Review | By Alex Bryson (University College London) and Richard Freeman (Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard).

She works hard for the money
December 13, 2016
Bloomberg Markets | Roundup of new research highlights "The New Lifecycle of Women's Employment," by Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard, and Joshua Mitchell (Ph.D '11), Senior Economist, U.S. Census Bureau.
​​​​​​​View the research

The ways Boston changed
December 13, 2016
Harvard Gazette | Harvard sociology course,“Reinventing (and Reimagining) Boston: The Changing American City,” is featured. Taught by Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, and David Luberoff, Lecturer on Sociology and Senior Associate Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard.

Is School Segregation Getting Worse? By Some Measures, No — but It’s Not Getting Any Better
December 11, 2016
The 74 | Features Ann Owens (Ph.D. '12) and findings of her work, which has examined racial and income segregation in schools. Owens is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Spatial Sciences at USC and a 2016-17 NAEd/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.

The Persistent Inequality of Neighborhoods
December 9, 2016
The Atlantic—CityLab | Delves into a recent study by Robert J. Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, which examines the spatial foundations of persistent inequality. The study referenced in the article is part of the volume Economic Mobility, a new publication released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
View the research

Why Are Fewer Adults Surpassing Their Parents’ Incomes?
December 9, 2016
FREOPP | By Scott Winship (Ph.D. '09), Visiting Fellow, Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. Winship digs into new Chetty et. al. paper released yesterday, "The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940."
 
Want to Feel Less Time-Stressed? Here’s one surprisingly effective solution: Give some time away.
December 11, 2016
Wall Street Journal | By Cassie Mogilner Holmes (UCLA) and Michael I. Norton (HBS). "Our results show that spending time on others increases feelings of time affluence by increasing self-efficacy, or that (rare) feeling of being able to accomplish all that we set out to do."

Michael Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and a member of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group.

The Mistakes We Make When Giving to Charity
December 11, 2016
Wall Street Journal | Our minds play tricks on us, limiting the effectiveness of our efforts. Cites study in Science by Michael I. Norton, Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and collaborators Elizabeth W. Dunn and Laura B. Aknin, both of University of British Columbia, which showed that spending money on others promotes happiness.
​​​​​​​View the research
 
The everyday response to racism
December 9, 2016
Harvard Gazette | Sociologist Michèle Lamont and colleagues examined how minority group identities help sculpt how they handle discrimination. Lamont and Graziella Moraes Silva (Ph.D. '10), two of the authors of a new book Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel, sat down for for a question-and-answer session to talk about the project and what its findings say about race relations in the United States.

Lamont is Professor of Sociology and African and African American studies, Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies. Silva is now Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at The Graduate Institute in Geneva.

Giving people a free monthly stipend actually leads them to drink and smoke less
December 9, 2016
Business Insider | Do cash transfers to the poor lead to increased purchase of "temptation goods"? New study by David Evans (Ph.D. '05), a senior economist at the World Bank, and Anna Popova of Stanford University examines the evidence from Africa, Asia, and Latin America and concludes no. Their work is forthcoming the in the journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.
View the research
A Better Theory to Explain Financial Bubbles
December 8, 2016
Bloomberg View | Discusses recent paper by Edward L. Glaeser and Charles G. Nathanson, "An Extrapolative Model of House-Price Dynamics," forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics. Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard. Nathanson is Assistant Professor of Finance at the Kellogg School of Management.
​​​​​​​View the research 
 
The Electoral College is Great for Whiter States, Lousy for Cities
December 8, 2016
Wired | Quoted: Alexander Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy, who participated in a forum convened by US representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) this week on the Electoral College.
  • Congressional Forum: Future of the Electoral College
    December 6, 2016
    C-SPAN | Alexander Keyssar, the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy, testified at a forum hosted by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), which explored possibilities for replacing the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote.
A Simple Way to Measure Health Care Outcomes
December 8, 2016
Harvard Business Review | By John Schupbach (HBS), Amitabh Chandra (HKS), and Robert S. Huckman (HBS). Chandra is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Research: Perhaps Market Forces Do Work in Health Care After All
December 5, 2016
Harvard Business Review | By Amitabh Chandra, Amy Finkelstein, Adam Sacarny, and Chad Syverson. Amitabh Chandra is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The authors' research appears in the Aug 2016 issue of the American Economic Review.
View the research (complimentary full text)

The Problem With One-Size-Fits-All Health Insurance
December 5, 2016
The New York Times | Quoted: Amitabh Chandra, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy.
 
Memo: Federal school finance policy
December 8, 2016
Brookings Institution | By Martin West and Nora Gordon. First in a Brookings series of memos to the President on federal education policy, Martin West (Ph.D. '06), Associate Professor of Education at Harvard, and Nora Gordon (Ph.D. '02), Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, tackle school finance.

A principled federal role in PreK-12 education
December 7, 2016
Brookings Institution | By Douglas N. Harris, Helen F. Ladd, Marshall S. Smith, and Martin R. West. A set of principles to guide the federal role in education policy from a bipartisan group of scholars and policy experts. Martin West (Ph.D. '06) is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
 
A Guide to Solving Social Problems with Machine Learning
December 8, 2016
Harvard Business Review | By Jon Kleinberg (Cornell), Jens Ludwig (University of Chicago), and Sendhil Mullainathan (Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University).

"As with all new 'products', there is potential for misuse, How can we maximize the benefits while minimizing the harm?"

"In applying these tools the last few years, we have focused on exactly this question. We have learned that some of the most important challenges fall within the cracks between the discipline that builds algorithms (computer science) and the disciplines that typically work on solving policy problems (such as economics and statistics). As a result, few of these key challenges are even on anyone’s radar screen. The good news is that many of these challenges, once recognized, are fairly straightforward to solve."

Forget Robots—People Skills Are the Future of American Jobs
December 7, 2016
Bloomberg | Features research by David Deming (Ph.D. '10), Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, on "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market." 
View the research
  • Robots aren't coming for your job. They're already here
    December 7, 2016
    Bloomberg Game Plan Podcast | Will jobs even exist in the future? Well, yes -- they'll just be different. Prof. David Deming (Ph.D. '10), a researcher at Harvard, joins the conversation to talk about what kinds of skills and labor the robots can't take. (Hint: Be human).

A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.
December 6, 2016
The New York Times | Lawrence Katz, Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics, comments on new study on U.S. economic inequality by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. Also cited, the work of Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, and Katz on the race between education and technology as a driver of inequality.
 
Our desperate need to save US democracy from ourselves
December 7, 2016
The Hill | By Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship, Harvard Kennedy School.

A Way Out for Donald Trump? A Letter to the President-Elect
December 7, 2016
WBUR | By Alexander Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

PEOTUS! HUD! DGA! MDC!
December 6, 2016
WNPR—The Wheelhouse | Prof. Leah Wright Rigueur of the Harvard Kennedy School guests.
 
We Are Donald Trump
December 6, 2016
The Nation | By Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. "We bear responsibility for the whole cloth, for all the threads that bind us, one to another," Muhammad writes.

The Supreme Court Tackles The Political Riddle Of Race-Based Gerrymandering
December 5, 2016
FiveThirtyEight | Quotes and cites research by Bernard Fraga (Ph.D. '13), Assistant Professor of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington. Fraga's article, "Redistricting and the Causal Impact of Race on Voter Turnout," appears in the Journal of Politics (Oct 2015). 
​​​​​​​View the research
 
Leah Wright Rigueur “Between the Lines: The Republican Party at a Racial Crossroads”
November 16, 2016
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library | Leah Wright Rigueur spoke at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, providing "a new understanding of the interactions between African Americans and the Republican Party, and the seemingly incongruous intersection of civil rights and American conservatism." 

Rigueur, an historian, is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power  (Princeton University Press, 2014).
 

Noteworthy

The best books of 2016 list you get when you combine 36 "Best Books of 2016" lists
December 22, 2016
Quartz

Evicted, by Matthew Desmond, earns a spot on 15 of 36 lists, the most recommended nonfiction book of 2016.

Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard.
 
'Evicted' Selected to 2017 PEN Literary Awards Longlist
December 9, 2016
PEN America

Evicted, by Matthew Desmond, is one of 10 books on the 2017 PEN America longlist in nonfiction for the John Kenneth Galbraith award.

Finalists for this biennial award will be announced on January 18, 2017. The winner will be announced on February 22, 2017 and honored at the 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2017. 
 
The best books of 2016, according to two best-selling authors
December 27, 2016
PBS NewsHour

Jeffrey Brown sat down recently with best-selling authors Jacqueline Woodson, a 2016 National Book Award finalist for fiction, and Daniel Pink, at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. First up: Evicted, by Matthew Desmond.
 
The Carnegie Interviews: Matthew Desmond
December 21, 2016
The Booklist Reader

One in a series of interviews with each of the finalists for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

The Best Books of 2016
December 21, 2016
Chicago Tribune
Ten selections, including Evicted, by Matthew Desmond.
The Year in Reading
December 19, 2016
The New York Times Book Review

Poets, musicians, diplomats, filmmakers, novelists, actors, and artists share the books that accompanied them through 2016.

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank notes two pieces of conventional wisdom—one domestic; the other international—that have structured our national debates for decades. Subjecting the received wisdom to close and skeptical examination: The Globalization Paradox, by Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

"There was a lot of great nonfiction in 2016," writes novelist Ann Patchett, "but there are four books that I recommend with a sense of urgency"—among them, Evicted, by Matthew Desmond, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences.
 
The Books We Loved
in 2016

December 13, 2016
The New Yorker
Among them, Evicted, by Matthew Desmond.
 
The Best Books of 2016
December 8, 2016
Bloomberg

Princeton economist Angus Deaton, awarded the 2015 Nobel prize in Economics, recommends Matthew Desmond's Evicted, together with $2.00 a Day, by Kathryn Edin & H. Luke Shaefer

Best Books of 2016
December 7, 2016
Boston Globe
Matthew Desmond's Evicted is selected as one of the year's best in nonfiction.

What else we're reading

Economic Report of the President 2017
December 15, 2016

Reducing inequality, reforming the health care system, investing in higher education, strengthening the financial system, and addressing climate change are the focus of this year's Economic Report of the President.

Cites research by Inequality & Social Policy affiliates Amitabh Chandra, Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. '15), David Deming (Ph.D. '10 and faculty), Will Dobbie (Ph.D. '13), Roland Fryer, Claudia Goldin, Joshua Goodman, Nathaniel Hendren, Thomas Kane, Lawrence Katz, Adam Looney (Ph.D. '04), Brigitte Madrian, Sendhil Mullainathan, Jonah Rockoff (Ph.D. '04), and Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09).
 

Events of interest

Distinguished Public Lecture on Family and Population
January 19, 2017
National University of Singapore

Mary C. Brinton, Harvard's Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, will speak on "Postindustrial Low Fertility in Europe and East Asia: Lessons for Singapore." Sponsored by the Centre for Family and Population Research (CFPR) and the Global Asia Institute, National University of Singapore.

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