Awardees | The Law and Society Association has awarded Matthew Clair, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, and Inequality fellow Alix Winter, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy, its John Hope Franklin Prize for the best article on race, racism, and the law published in the past two years. The article, How Judges Think about Racial Disparties: Situational Decision-Making in the Criminal Justice System, "reveals that judges who routinely impose sentences with a differential racial impact sometimes intervene to mitigate the effects, and in many cases, justify decision making that continues to perpetuate disparities," in the words of the award citation. In so doing, "this article provides valuable new insights into the legal consciousness of elite actors and their thinking about the discriminatory impact of their decisions." View the research
L.A. Weekly | Jared Schachner, Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy, discusses findings of a new study co-authored with Harvard's Robert J. Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, and Robert D. Mare of UCLA. Their article, "Urban Income Inequality and the Great Recession in Sunbelt Form," appears in a new RSF Journal issue on "Spatial Foundations of Inequality." View the research
JCHS Housing Perspectives | By Michael Hankinson, Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy. Hankinson's findings, "based on new national-level experimental data and city-specific behavioral data....help explain why it is so hard to build new housing in expensive cities even when there is citywide support for that housing." Read the full paper in the Joint Center for Housing Studies Working Paper series, and learn more about Hankinson's work at his website. mhankinson.com
Washington Post | By Shom Mazumder, Ph.D. candidate in Government. It turns out that social science has a lot to say about which protests are likely to be effective. Here's what Mazumder's research found. Read more about his work at his website: smazumder.me
Undisclosed (S2, Addendum 21) | Monica Bell, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy, talks class, race, and geography and how these shape trust/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
The Atlantic | Features Robert Manduca, Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy, a co-author of the study discussed in this article. The findings come from a new paper out of the Equality of Opportunity project, led by economists Raj Chetty of Stanford and Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard. View the research
Pacific Standard | A conversation with Robert Manduca (Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy), one of the authors of the economic mobility study making waves this week. Learn more about Robert Manduca's work: robertmanduca.com
FiveThirtyEight | Explores the role of inequality in a new study of economic mobility by Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren (Assistant Professor of Economics, Harvard), Robert Manduca (Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy, Harvard), and Jimmy Narang.
"But inequality was a much bigger driver [than economic growth]. The researchers analyzed a scenario in which growth followed its real-world path, but that growth was distributed more equally. In that scenario, the rate of mobility would rise to 80 percent, wiping out more than two-thirds of the 40-year decline.
Ultimately, Hendren said, restoring mobility will require both. 'You need growth, and you need it to be broad-based,' Hendren said."
Washington Post | Coverage of new study by Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren (Assistant Professor of Economics, Harvard), Robert Manduca (Ph.D. student in Sociology & Social Policy, Harvard), and Jimmy Narang.
"Previously, Chetty's team studied a different measure of mobility: the ability of children to move up or down America's income ladder as they grow up, when compared to other Americans. The new research attempts, for the first time, to quantify so-called "absolute mobility," which people often associate with the American Dream: the odds of a child earning more as an adult than his or her parents earned at the same age.
"The researchers say rising concentration of income among the richest Americans explains 70 percent of what has been a steady decline in absolute mobility from the baby boom generation to millennials, while a slowdown in economic growth explains just 30 percent...
"If you don’t have that kind of widespread economic growth across the income distribution, it’s tough to grow up and earn more than your parents,” Hendren said. “This is a distinct reason to focus on inequality."