5 Big Ideas in Inequality - I

THIS WEEK: 6 BIG IDEAS  |  OCT 26 2020

01:06 | Idea 1 - David Deming
14:10 | Idea 2 - Jason Furman
22:34 | Idea 3 - Jennifer Hochschild
34:59 | Idea 4 - Kaneesha R. Johnson
41:17 | Idea 5 - Michael I. Norton
53:45 | Idea 6 - Robert J. Sampson
1:06:22 - Q&A




David DemingIDEA 1

To fight inequality, fix the US higher education system

David J. Deming
Professor of Public Policy
Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Harvard Kennedy School

David Deming slide






Jason FurmanIDEA 2

An additional tool to understand and curb inequality:
Worry about product market power too

Jason Furman
Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy
Harvard Kennedy School and Department of Economics
Harvard University

Jason Furman slide

"If you look at problems that households face in income, in part it's growing inequality. But in part it's also slower productivity growth. So if you can find any levers that can improve both of those at once—more productivity growth, plus less inequality—that's what we should be most excited about.

I think getting more people who do labor economics, who do inequality, thinking about what's going on on this side of the market is quite important."



Jennifer HochschildIDEA 3

Intersectionalities and Public Policies

Jennifer L. Hochschild
Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government
and Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University

Jennifer Hochschild slide

"The conclusion I come to is that intersectionality matters as an analytic tool for understanding what's going on in these cities and what inequality looks like, and as a policy tool for thinking about how best to overcome the various problems that these policies suggest. 

But exactly how it matters, for whom, why it has this particular impact, and what to do about it varies enormously by policy arena." 



Kaneesha R. JohnsonIDEA 4

(Re)Imagining the Political Power of Incarcerated People

Kaneesha R. Johnson
PhD candidate in Government 
Malcolm Hewitt Wiener PhD Scholar in Poverty and Justice
Harvard University

Kaneesha R. Johnson slide







Michael I. NortonIDEA 5

Wanting, Voting, and Paying for Greater Equality
Wealth, Income, and Health

Michael I. Norton
Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration
Harvard Business School

Michael Norton slide

"What we see is that people have much, much less tolerance for inequality around health and life than they do around things like income and wealth.But we know, obviously, that income inequality and health inequality are deeply linked to each other. 

We do studies where we try to get people to think about both at the same time. And it's painful for people to do."



Robert J. SampsonIDEA 6

The Birth Lottery of History
Criminalization in the Lives of Multiple Cohorts Coming of Age, 1995-2020

Robert J. Sampson
Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences 
Harvard University

Robert Sampson slide

"[Another implication] more normative and philosophical in nature has to do with redressing of cohort injustices.

Because if the birth lottery of history has induced these kinds of changes, then it calls for a rethinking not just of our prediction paradigms going forward, but of the cohort injustices for those who grew up in these conditions, looking backward."