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Latest Inequality & Social Policy In the News

Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the Election?

Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the Election?

July 7, 2016

The New York Times | Alexander Keyssar, who is working on a book on the Electoral College, explains that the process of succession would depend on “the precise moment at which he said, ‘Nah, never mind.'" Keyssar is the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks

Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks

July 7, 2016

The New York Times | Quotes Phillip Atiba Goff on the findings of "The Science of Justice: Race, Arrests, and the Use of Force," a new study significant for its assembly and empirical analysis of detailed use-of-force data in the nation's first national database on police behavior. Goff, a visiting scholar at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy from 2014-2016, is co-founder and president of the Center for Policing Equity, which released the report, and the Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Tracey (Shollenberger) Lloyd (Ph.D. '15), a research associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, is a co-author of the study.
View the study

How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality

How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality

July 3, 2016

The New York Times | "A growing body of economic literature suggests that anti-growth sentiment, when multiplied across countless unheralded local development battles, is a major factor in creating a stagnant and less equal American economy." Quotes Daniel Shoag (Ph.D. '11), Associate Professor at Harvard Kennedy School, and cites his research with Peter Ganong (Harvard Economics Ph.D. '16), who joins the University of Chicago Harris School faculty in 2017.
View the research

Women Working Longer

Women Working Longer

July 3, 2016

Forbes | Covers new study and recent NBER conference organized by economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, Women Working Longer. The conference explored the growing numbers of women working full-time into their sixties and seventies, and the family and financial implications of this change.
View conference program and papers

MP Andrew Leigh reelected for third term

MP Andrew Leigh reelected for third term

July 3, 2016

The Sydney Morning Herald |Labor MP Andrew Leigh (Ph.D. '04) won his third term representing Canberra's north, clinching 65.8 percent of the two-party vote and a 3.3 percent swing.

What an Affordable Housing Moonshot Would Look Like

What an Affordable Housing Moonshot Would Look Like

July 1, 2016

Slate | Too many Americans live on the edge of eviction. Could a universal housing voucher program fix the problem? Draws on the work of Matthew Desmond, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016).

The Violence of Eviction

The Violence of Eviction

June 28, 2016

Dissent | Review essay by Mike Konczal explores Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond of Harvard, and Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, by David Dayen.

Summer jobs boost employment skills, academic aspirations, study finds

Summer jobs boost employment skills, academic aspirations, study finds

June 27, 2016

Boston Globe | New study by Alicia Sasser Modestino (Ph.D. '01) of Northeastern University and Trinh Nguyen of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development for the City of Boston. Modestino is a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which released the study.

Donald Trump is Wrong: Campaigns Matter

Donald Trump is Wrong: Campaigns Matter

June 24, 2016

Pacific Standard | Coverage of new research by Ryan Enos, Associate Professor of Government, and Anthony Fowler of University of Chicago finds that “contrary to some expectations, large-scale campaigns can significantly increase the size and composition of the voting population, rather than simply mobilizing a small fraction of voters on the margin.”
View the research

After Brexit, a changed future

After Brexit, a changed future

June 24, 2016

Washington Post | Harvard analysts assess Brexit's implications, including Peter A. Hall, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies. "Euro-skeptical parties on the radical right and left of the political spectrum have been encouraged by the British vote to demand similar referenda in their own countries,” Hall said. “But mainstream political leaders are anxious to prevent this. They can only do so if they retain power, and that will be their first priority.  They can only do so if they can revive economic growth in Europe and limit the backlash against immigration. That will be very difficult to do.”

Health Policy Leaders Call on HHS to Test More Mandatory Bundled Payment Models

Health Policy Leaders Call on HHS to Test More Mandatory Bundled Payment Models

June 24, 2016

Center for American ProgressThe Center for American Progress, along with major leaders in the health policy community and physicians, issued a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell urging next steps on Medicare payment reform. Amitabh Chandra, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy is one of the 11 signatories.

How And Why Conservatives Are Trying To Bring Colorado Latinos Into Their Fold

How And Why Conservatives Are Trying To Bring Colorado Latinos Into Their Fold

June 22, 2016

Colorado Public Radio | Quotes Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, who leads a team of researchers studying Libre and other advocacy groups and organizations operating around the Democratic and Republican parties. [text and audio: 5 minutes]

For more on the Libre Initiative, see the factual brief by Angie Bautista-Chavez (Ph.D. student in Government) and Sarah James (Ph.D. student in Government & Social Policy), produced for the Scholars Strategy Network.

Two Black Members of Congress condemn racism on Airbnb

Two Black Members of Congress condemn racism on Airbnb

June 21, 2016

NBCNews.com | Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (D- NC), and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) have issued a public letter calling on the CEO of Airbnb to address issues of discrimination on its platform. The letter specifically urges consideration of practical measures suggested by Michael Luca, Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School, in a recent article in the Washington Post. The article also highlights the findings of Luca's study with HBS colleagues Benjamin Edelman and Dan Svirsky, "Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment."
View the research... Read more about Two Black Members of Congress condemn racism on Airbnb

With Trump in the Race, the Battleground is Everywhere

With Trump in the Race, the Battleground is Everywhere

June 21, 2016

FiveThirtyEight | New research by political scientists Bernard Fraga (Ph.D '13) of Indiana University and Eitan Hersh of Yale University finds, surprisingly, that nearly the entire U.S. has experienced very close electoral contests in recent years. "For readers who take comfort in the stability in competition that has characterized recent presidential elections," writes Hersh, "gird yourself."
View the research

What Makes Teams Tick

What Makes Teams Tick

June 21, 2016

Harvard Magazine | New findings by Michèle Lamont and co-authors Veronica Boix Mansilla and Kyoko Sato on what makes for successful interdisciplinary collaborations. Lamont is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and African and African American Studies at Harvard.

'If the goal was to get rid of poverty, we failed': the legacy of the 1996 welfare reform

'If the goal was to get rid of poverty, we failed': the legacy of the 1996 welfare reform

June 20, 2016

Vox | An in-depth look at welfare reform 20 years on: the history of US welfare policy and origins of welfare reform, implementation of the 1996 law, assessments of its effects on poverty, and the policy discussion today among poverty experts. Quoted or featured in the piece: Mary Jo Bane, David Ellwood, Christopher Jencks, and William Julius Wilson, all of the Harvard Kennedy School.

Inside the donor network: Studies unravel the influence of money in politics— on the right and left

Inside the donor network: Studies unravel the influence of money in politics— on the right and left

June 18, 2016

Salon | Recaps highlights from the workshop, Purchasing Power? The Next Generation of Research on Money and Politics, sponsored by the Scholars Strategy Network and hosted by the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation in New York City, June 16-17, 2016. Features new research by Harvard's Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, and by Alex Hertel-Fernandez (Ph.D. '16), Assistant Professor of Public and International Affairs at Columbia University.

Muslim Immigrants Have No Trouble Assimilating, Mr. Trump

Muslim Immigrants Have No Trouble Assimilating, Mr. Trump

June 17, 2016

BloombergView | Editorial column by Paula Dwyer quotes Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology. Waters chaired the National Academy of Sciences panel on the Integration of Immigrants into American Society, which issued its report, also cited in the article, in fall 2015.

The big change that could help poor people move to lower poverty neighborhoods

The big change that could help poor people move to lower poverty neighborhoods

June 17, 2016

Washington Post | Quotes and cites research of Eva Rosen (Ph.D. '14), now a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. Also cites research by faculty affiliate Matthew Desmond and Kristin L. Perkins (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and Social Policy), and by Robert Collinson and Peter Ganong (Harvard Ph.D. '16, now Chicago Harris School of Public Policy).

Latest awards

Equitable Growth Announces 2016 Class of Grantees: Blythe George

Equitable Growth Announces 2016 Class of Grantees: Blythe George

July 20, 2016

Awardee | Blythe George, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology & Social Policy, is one of 19 new grantees in the Washington Center for Equitable Growth's 2016 class. George's research, "Those jobs ain’t coming back: The consequences of an industry collapse on two tribal reservations," will use qualitative data to explore the mechanisms that link the decline of employment options and life outcomes for males on two Native American tribal reservations, The Yurok and Hoopa Valley Reservations, located in California’s northwest.

"A member of the Yurok tribe herself, the researcher’s data provide a unique contribution ... [with] useful insights on the consequences of declining male labor force participation, particularly in non-urban settings." The award citation highlights that "From a policy engagement perspective, the rich[ness of] this qualitative work will help provide the narrative and texture that is necessary for capturing policy attention."

Robert Sampson elected to the British Academy

Robert Sampson elected to the British Academy

July 15, 2016

Awardee | Robert J. Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy. The Academy elected 42 distinguished UK academics and 20 scholars from overseas institutions in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research. It also elected four Honorary Fellows, including U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Learn more about Robert Sampson's work at his homepage.

New Russell Sage Foundation grant: Natasha Warikoo

New Russell Sage Foundation grant: Natasha Warikoo

July 13, 2016

Awardee | Natasha Warikoo (Ph.D. '05), Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University, has been awarded  a Russell Sage Foundation grant to study "Asian Americans in Suburban America: Academic Competition, Youth Culture, and Racial Change." Warikoo will examine academic competition in two wealthy suburbs that differ in their Asian populations, exploring how group boundaries, beliefs about success, youth culture, and conceptions of race change when upwardly-mobile Asian Americans enter the public school system in these higher-income, predominantly white communities.

Judith Scott-Clayton wins Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award

Judith Scott-Clayton wins Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award

July 12, 2016

Awardee | Judith Scott-Clayton (Ph.D. '09) is the recipient of the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), which is awarded on the basis of  "published work that exemplifies the highest quality of research methodology, analysis, or topical writing on the subject of student financial aid or its administration." Scott-Clayton is Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jeremy Levine receives two ASA awards for outstanding paper

Jeremy Levine receives two ASA awards for outstanding paper

July 11, 2016

Awardee | Jeremy Levine, Ph.D. '16 in Sociology, is the recipient of two American Sociological Association section awards for best graduate student paper in Community and Urban Sociology and in Political Sociology. The paper, forthcoming in the American Sociological Review, is titled "The Privatization of Political Representation: Community-Based Organizations as Nonelected Neighborhood Representatives.” Levine joins the University of Michigan faculty as Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies in September. Learn more about Levine's work at his website.

Devah Pager named to W.T. Grant Foundation Board of Trustees

Devah Pager named to W.T. Grant Foundation Board of Trustees

July 1, 2016

William T. Grant Foundation | Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Director of the Inequality & Social Policy program, will join the William T. Grant Foundation's Board of Trustees in 2017. The William T. Grant Foundation invests in research focused on reducing inequality and improving the use of research evidence to improve the lives of young people in the United States.

Pager is a former William T. Grant Scholar, a program that recognizes promising early career researchers in the in the social, behavioral, and health sciences and supports their professional development with five-year research awards. Other W.T. Grant Scholars include Inequality & Social Policy alumni David Deming (Ph.D. '10, now a Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education), Laura Tach (Ph.D. '09, now Cornell University), and Patrick Sharkey (Ph.D. '07, now NYU), and faculty affiliate Matthew Desmond of the Harvard Sociology Department.

Jacqueline Rivers named a W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellow, 2016-2017

Jacqueline Rivers named a W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellow, 2016-2017

July 1, 2016

Awardee | Jacqueline Rivers (Ph.D. '15). The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University has announced its fourth class of W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellows. Rivers, who holds a  Ph.D. in African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard,  will work on a project titled The Power of Racial Socialization: A Form of Non-Elite Cultural Capital.

Ellora Derenoncourt awarded Louis O. Kelso fellowship

Ellora Derenoncourt awarded Louis O. Kelso fellowship

July 1, 2016

Awardee | Ellora Derenoncourt, Ph.D. candidate in Economics, is the recipient of a Louis O. Kelso fellowship from the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations for 2016-2017. Rutgers has selected 30 fellows to study broad-based employee ownership and profit-sharing in corporations. Derenoncourt will research the effects of differential levels of employee ownership benefits on employee satisfaction and quit rates.

Distinguished Career Award: ASA International Migration Section

Distinguished Career Award: ASA International Migration Section

June 18, 2016

Awardee | Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology, is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Career Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on International Migration. Waters will receive the award in a ceremony on August 23 at the ASA Annual Meeting in Seattle.

John Harvard's Journal: Students' Choice

John Harvard's Journal: Students' Choice

June 17, 2016

Harvard Magazine | James Biblarz, Ph.D. student in Sociology and Social Policy and a tutor in Eliot House, received the Undergraduate Council’s John R. Marquand Prize for exceptional advising and counseling. The prize, awarded annually in May, recognizes an individual "who contributes to the quality of undergraduate life and education," with a focus on those who bring "skill and generosity in advising, counseling, and helping students.”

Jane Mansbridge to give BJPIR Public Lecture

Jane Mansbridge to give BJPIR Public Lecture

June 9, 2016

University of Edinburgh | Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh. Following the ceremony, she will deliver the British Journal of Politics and International Relations public lecture addressing the question of why—in a world of growing interdependence and complex challenges—we need more and more ‘legitimate coercion’.

APSA Heinz Eulau Award

APSA Heinz Eulau Award

June 8, 2016

Awardee | Ariel R. White (Ph.D. '16), now Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT, and co-authors Noah L. Nathan and Julie K. Faller are the recipients of the American Political Science Association's Heinz I. Eulau Award for best article published in the American Political Science Review in the past calendar year. All were Ph.D. candidates in Government at the time of publication.

For their article, "What do I Need to Vote? Bureaucratic Discretion and Discrimination by Local Election Officials," the authors carried out a field experiment in which they contacted over 7,000 local election officials in 48 states responsible for providing information to voters and implementing voter ID laws. They found that election officials were significantly less likely to respond to emails sent from Latino aliases and provided responses of lower quality than they did when replying to non-Latino white aliases.  
View the research

Congratulations, new Ph.D.'s!

Congratulations, new Ph.D.'s!

May 26, 2016

Congratulations to the 14 Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellows receiving their Ph.D.'s today, and to all the graduates who have been part of our Inequality & Social Policy community.

The Tobin Project 2016 Graduate Student Fellows: Sarah James

The Tobin Project 2016 Graduate Student Fellows: Sarah James

May 26, 2016

Awardee | Sarah James, Ph.D. student in Government and Social Policy, has been selected to participate in The Tobin Project as a 2016 Graduate Student Fellow. The Tobin Project's Graduate Student Fellows program, which draws students from universities across the country, supports student research on real-world problems in the social sciences by providing research workshops and research fellowships to enable students to carry out a specific project.  James will pursue research on "Race and Street-Level Bureaucracy in Schools: An Examination of Texas’ School-based Police Forces."  Read more about Sarah James's work at her homepage.

Torben Iversen awarded Denmark's prestigious Holst-Knudsen Prize for Scientific Research

Torben Iversen awarded Denmark's prestigious Holst-Knudsen Prize for Scientific Research

May 25, 2016

Awardee | Torben Iversen, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, is the recipient of one of Denmark's oldest and most prestigious science awards, the the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research. "Again and again," the award citation notes, "Torben Iversen’s work has set the agenda for research in a variety of areas, such as the welfare state, the role of central banks, salary negotiations, education, and electoral systems."

Ariel White awarded Robert Noxon Toppan dissertation prize

Ariel White awarded Robert Noxon Toppan dissertation prize

May 24, 2016

Awardee | Ariel R. White (Ph.D. '16) has been awarded the Harvard Government Department's 2016 Robert Noxon Toppan Prize for best dissertation in political science for her dissertation titled, "Voter Behavior in the Wake of Punitive Politics." White joins the MIT faculty as Assistant Professor of Political Science in the fall.

Robert Putnam Honored with Wildavsky Award for 'Bowling Alone'

Robert Putnam Honored with Wildavsky Award for 'Bowling Alone'

May 24, 2016

Awardee | Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy, has been awarded the 2016 Aaron Wildavsky Enduring Contribution Award by the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for his 2000 book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community...The Wildavsky Award recognizes a work, published 10-20 years earlier, that continues to influence the study of public policy. 

Brigitte Madrian named to CFPB Academic Research Council

Brigitte Madrian named to CFPB Academic Research Council

May 20, 2016

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau | In prepared remarks, CFPB Director Richard Cordray welcomes new members Brigitte Madrian (Harvard) and Ian Ayres (Yale) to CFPB's Academic Research Council and highlights the importance of consumer finance as an area of economics and policy. Madrian is the Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at Harvard Kennedy School.

Deming Named Professor of Education

Deming Named Professor of Education

May 19, 2016

Harvard Graduate School of Education | Associate Professor David Deming (Ph.D. '10) has been promoted to full professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Deming is an economist interested in educational inequality and the impact of education policies on long-term outcomes.

“David’s scholarship addresses fundamentally important questions in exceptionally innovative ways. The rigor and relevance of his work — on subjects ranging from the long-term benefits of the Head Start program, the value of degrees from for-profit colleges, and the effects of racial segregation on academic achievement and life outcomes — make his findings absolutely essential reading for academics and policymakers alike,” said Dean James Ryan.

Latest commentary and analysis

Stefanie Stantcheva

Mobility: Real and Perceived

December 31, 2019

City Journal | By Alberto Alesina and Stefanie Stantcheva. Americans continue to regard their economic prospects more optimistically than Europeans, who fear that the poor are stuck in poverty. Alesina is the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard. Stantcheva is a Professor of Economics.

Leah Gose

‘The Resistance’ built grass-roots groups across the U.S. Will the Democratic Party put that energy to work in 2020?

December 31, 2019

The Washington Post | By Leah E. Gose, PhD student in Sociology and Malcolm Hewitt Wiener PhD Scholar in Poverty and Justice. Leah is a contributor to the forthcoming volume, Upending American Politics: Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance, Theda Skocpol and Caroline Tervo, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Amitabh Chandra

We need a national conversation about our health care priorities

December 23, 2019

Boston Globe | By Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra. Amitabh Chandra is the Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and the Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Katherine Baicker is Dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

Edward Glaeser

City Slicker

December 15, 2019

IMF Finance and Development | Chris Wellisz profiles Harvard’s Edward Glaeser, who sees urbanization as a path to prosperity. Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics.

Benjamin Schneer

Drawing the Line on Gerrymandering

December 10, 2019

HKS PolicyCast | With the 2020 census looming, Assistant Professor of Public Policy Benjamin Schneer says redistricting can be made more democratic—even in deeply partisan states [Audio + transcript].

Dani Rodrik

Tackling Inequality from the Middle

December 10, 2019

Project Syndicate | By Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy. The rise of populist movements and street protests from Chile to France has made inequality a high priority for politicians of all stripes in the world's rich democracies. But a fundamental question has received relatively little attention: What type of inequality should policymakers tackle?

Christina Cross

The Myth of the Two-Parent Home

December 9, 2019

The New York Times | By Christina Cross, Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021) and Assistant Professor of Sociology (beginning 2021). New research indicates that access to resources, more than family structure, matters for black kids’ success. "If this is the case, Cross argues, "then what deserves policy attention is not black families’ deviation from the two-parent family model but rather structural barriers such as housing segregation and employment discrimination that produce and maintain racialized inequalities in family life."

Boston Review

Selling Keynesianism

December 9, 2019

Boston Review | By Robert Manduca, PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Policy. In the 1940s and '50s, the general public understood and agreed upon Keynesian economic principles. Today, we can learn a lot from the popularizing efforts that led to that consensus and long-lasting economic success, Robert Manduca argues.

Mainstream conservative parties paved the way for far-right nationalism

Mainstream conservative parties paved the way for far-right nationalism

December 2, 2019

Washington Post | By Bart Bonikowski (Associate Professor of Sociology) and Daniel Ziblatt (Eaton Professor of the Science of Government). First in a six-article series edited by Bonikowski and Ziblatt. Inspired by a 2018 academic conference on populism and the future of democracy organized by Harvard Univesity's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in Talloires, France.

Cresa Pugh

Can the International Community Save the Rohingya?

November 26, 2019

The Globe Post | By Cresa Pugh, PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Policy. Her research interests include the social legacies of imperialism, ethnic and religious conflict in Southeast Asia, and the role of collective memory and identity in shaping peacebuilding efforts in post-conflict societies.

Dani Rodrik

We Have the Tools to Reverse the Rise in Inequality

November 20, 2019

PIIE | By Olivier Blanchard and Dani Rodrik. What the authors learned from the Combating Inequality conference, held Oct 17-18 at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Olivier Blanchard is the C. Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Dani Rodrik is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School.

View conference ►
DACA rally

DACA has changed lives – and the country – for the better. It must be preserved

November 12, 2019

The Guardian | By Roberto G. Gonzales and Kristina Brant. As the supreme court considers Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, our research shows multiple benefits for individuals, families and communities.

Roberto Gonzales is professor of education at Harvard University and author of Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America. Kristina Brant is a PhD candidate in Sociology and an Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellow. Learn more about the report, co-authored with Sayil Camacho and Carlos Aguilar:

View the report ▶
The Immigration Initiative at Harvard ▶
Alex Keyssar

Why Voter Turnout is So Low in the United States

October 17, 2019

Jacobin | An interview with Alexander Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling, Jr Professor of History and Social Policy and the author of The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States.

David J. Deming

Engineers Spring Ahead, but Don't Underestimate the Poets

September 20, 2019

The New York Times | By David Deming, Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Drawing on research with Stone PhD Scholar Kadeem Noray, a PhD candidate in Public Policy, Deming notes that STEM majors earn more right out of college, but liberal marts majors gradually catch up, and by age 40 there is little or no earnings difference between them. Deming argues we should avoid the impulse to make college curricula narrowly career-focused and focus instead on preparing students "for the next 40 years of working life, and a future that none of us can imagine." 

View the research ►

Latest books—By doctoral fellows and alumni

The allure of order : high hopes, dashed expectations, and the troubled quest to remake American schooling

"Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush agreed on little, but united behind the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Passed in late 2001, it was hailed as a dramatic new departure in school reform. It would make the states set high standards, measure student progress, and hold failing schools accountable. A decade later, NCLB has been repudiated on both sides of the aisle. According to Jal Mehta, we should have seen it coming. Far from new, it was the same approach to school reform that Americans have tried before. In The Allure of Order, Mehta recounts a century of attempts at revitalizing public education, and puts forward a truly new agenda to reach this elusive goal. Not once, not twice, but three separate times-in the Progressive Era, the 1960s and '70s, and NCLB-reformers have hit upon the same idea for remaking schools.

Early start : preschool politics in the United States
Karch, Andrew. 2013. Early start : preschool politics in the United States. The University of Michigan Press. Abstract

A political history of the debate over preschool education policy in the United States. In the United States, preschool education is characterized by the dominance of a variegated private sector and patchy, uncoordinated oversight of the public sector. Tracing the history of the American debate over preschool education, the author argues that the current state of decentralization and fragmentation is the consequence of a chain of reactions and counterreactions to policy decisions dating from the late 1960s and early 1970s, when preschool advocates did not achieve their vision for a comprehensive national program but did manage to foster initiatives at both the state and national levels. Over time, beneficiaries of these initiatives and officials with jurisdiction over preschool education have become ardent defenders of the status quo. Today, advocates of greater government involvement must take on a diverse and entrenched set of constituencies resistant to policy change. In his close analysis of the politics of preschool education, the author demonstrates how to apply the concepts of policy feedback, critical junctures, and venue shopping to the study of social policy. – From book jacket.

Cleaning Up - How Hospital Outsourcing Is Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients

To cut costs and maximize profits, hospitals in the United States and many other countries are outsourcing such tasks as cleaning and food preparation to private contractors. In, the first book to examine this transformation in the healthcare industry, Dan Zuberi looks at the consequences of outsourcing from two perspectives: its impact on patient safety and its role in increasing socioeconomic inequality. Drawing on years of field research in Vancouver, Canada as well as data from hospitals in the U.S. and Europe, he argues that outsourcing has been disastrous for the cleanliness of hospitals-leading to an increased risk of hospital-acquired infections, a leading cause of severe illness and death-as well as for the effective delivery of other hospital services and the workers themselves.

The Democratic Foundations of policy diffusion : how health, family and employment laws spread across countries

"Why do law reforms spread around the world in waves? Leading theories argue that international networks of technocratic elites develop orthodox solutions that they singlehandedly transplant across countries. But, in modern democracies, elites alone cannot press for legislative reforms without winning the support of politicians, voters, and interest groups. As Katerina Linos shows in The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion, international models can help politicians generate domestic enthusiasm for far-reaching proposals. By pointing to models from abroad, policitians can persuade voters that their ideas are not radical, ill-thought out experiments, but mainstream, tried-and-true solutions. Through the ingenious use of experimental and cross-national evidence, Linos documents voters' response to international models and demonstrates that governments follow international organization templates and imitate the policy choices of countries heavily covered in national media and familiar to voters. Empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated, The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion provides the fullest account to date of this increasingly pervasive phenomenon."–page [4] of cover.

Three worlds of relief : race, immigration, and the American welfare state from the Progressive Era to the New Deal

This book examines the role of race and immigration in the development of the American social welfare system by comparing how blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants were treated by welfare policies during the Progressive Era and the New Deal. Taking readers from the turn of the twentieth century to the dark days of the Depression, the author finds that, despite rampant nativism, European immigrants received generous access to social welfare programs. The communities in which they lived invested heavily in relief. Social workers protected them from snooping immigration agents, and ensured that noncitizenship and illegal status did not prevent them from receiving the assistance they needed. But that same helping hand was not extended to Mexicans and blacks. The author reveals, for example, how blacks were relegated to racist and degrading public assistance programs, while Mexicans who asked for assistance were deported with the help of the very social workers they turned to for aid. Drawing on archival evidence, the author paints a portrait of how race, labor, and politics combined to create three starkly different worlds of relief. She debunks the myth that white America's immigrant ancestors pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, unlike immigrants and minorities today. This book challenges us to reconsider not only the historical record but also the implications of our past on contemporary debates about race, immigration, and the American welfare state.

The Tea Party and the remaking of Republican conservatism
Skocpol, Theda, and Vanessa Williamson. 2012. The Tea Party and the remaking of Republican conservatism. New York: Oxford University Press. Abstract

On February 19, 2009, CNBC commentator Rick Santelli delivered a dramatic rant against Obama administration programs to shore up the plunging housing market. Invoking the Founding Fathers and ridiculing "losers" who could not pay their mortgages, Santelli called for "Tea Party" protests. Over the next two years, conservative activists took to the streets and airways, built hundreds of local Tea Party groups, and weighed in with votes and money to help right-wing Republicans win electoral victories in 2010. In this study, the author, a political scientists, and co-author go beyond the inevitable photos of protesters in Colonial costumes and tricorn hats and knee breeches to provide a nuanced portrait of the Tea Party. What they find is sometimes surprising. Drawing on grassroots interviews and visits to local meetings in several regions, they find that older, middle-class Tea Partiers mostly approve of Social Security, Medicare, and generous benefits for military veterans. Their opposition to "big government" entails reluctance to pay taxes to help people viewed as undeserving "freeloaders" including immigrants, lower income earners, and the young. At the national level, Tea Party elites and funders leverage grassroots energy to further longstanding goals such as tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation of business, and privatization of the very same Social Security and Medicare programs on which many grassroots Tea Partiers depend. Elites and grassroots are nevertheless united in hatred of Barack Obama and determination to push the Republican Party sharply to the right. This book combines portraits of local Tea Party members and chapters with an overarching analysis of the movement's rise, impact, and likely fate. The paperback edition will be updated to bring the discussion up to the present, including the Republican Presidential primary race in early 2012.

The Great Recession
Grusky, David B, Bruce Western, and Christopher Wimer, ed. 2011. The Great Recession. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Abstract

The consequences of the great recession / David B. Grusky, Bruce Western, and Christopher Wimer -- The roots of thegreat recession / Neil Fligstein and Adam Goldstein -- Job loss and unemployment / Michael Hout, Asaf Levanon, and Erin Cumberworth -- Poverty and income inequality in the early stages of the great recession / Timothy M. Smeeding, ... [et al.] -- How much wealth was destroyed in the great recession? / Edward N. Wolff, Lindsay A. Owens, and Esra Burak -- An analysis of trends, perceptions, and distributional effects in consumption / Ivaylo D. Petev, Luigi Pistaferri, and Itay Saporta-Eksten -- The surprisingly weak effects of recessions on public opinion / Lane Kenworthy and Lindsay A. Owens -- The great recession's influence on fertility, marriage, divorce, and cohabitation / S. Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, and Christopher Wimer -- The federal stimulus programs and their effects / Gary Burtless and Tracy Gordon -- Has the great recession made Americans stingier? / Rob Reich,... [et al.].

Latest academic articles — By doctoral fellows

Sosnaud, Benjamin, David Brady, and Steven M Frenk. 2013. “Class in Name Only: Subjective Class Identity, Objective Class Position, and Vote Choice in American Presidential Elections.” Social Problems 60. University of California Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of Social Problems: pp. 81-99. Publisher's Version Abstract
Partly because of the widespread tendency for Americans to think of themselves as “middle class,” subjective class identity often does not correspond to objective class position. This study evaluates the extent to which American voters' subjective class identities differ from their objective class positions. We then evaluate the implications of such differences for voting behavior using American National Election Studies data from eight recent presidential elections. Coding respondents according to whether subjective class identity is higher or lower than objective class position, we construct a novel schema of inflated, deflated, and concordant class perceptions. We find that there are substantial differences between Americans' subjective and objective social class: over two-thirds of the upper-middle class have a deflated perception of their class position, only half of the middle class have concordant perceptions, and more than a third of the working class have inflated perceptions. We also find that this divergence varies depending on sociodemographic factors, and especially race and education. The analyses initially show a pattern that those with inflated class perceptions are more likely to vote Republican. However, this relationship is not significant once we control for race and income.
Beckfield, Jason, Sigrun Olafsdottir, and Benjamin Sosnaud. 2013. “Healthcare Systems in Comparative Perspective: Classification, Convergence, Institutions, Inequalities, and Five Missed Turns.” Annual Review of Sociology 39: 127-146. Publisher's Version Abstract
This article reviews and evaluates recent comparative social science scholarship on healthcare systems. We focus on four of the strongest themes in current research: (a) the development of typologies of healthcare systems, (b) assessment of convergence among healthcare systems, (c) problematization of the shifting boundaries of healthcare systems, and (d) the relationship between healthcare systems and social inequalities. Our discussion seeks to highlight the central debates that animate current scholarship and identify unresolved questions and new opportunities for research. We also identify five currents in contemporary sociology that have not been incorporated as deeply as they might into research on healthcare systems. These five missed turns include emphases on social relations, culture, postnational theory, institutions, and causal mechanisms. We conclude by highlighting some key challenges for comparative research on healthcare systems.

Scholars have long noted how migration streams, once initiated, obtain a self-feeding character. Studies have attributed this phenomenon – the cumulative causation of migration – to expanding social networks that connect migrants in destination to individuals in origin. Studies however, often disagree on how social networks influence migration decisions. While many establish a positive association between individuals’ ties to prior migrants and their migration propensities, only few acknowledge that multiple social mechanisms might account for these interdependencies. To address this issue, we adopt a typology developed by DiMaggio and Garip (2012) and consider three mechanisms by which social ties may influence individuals’ migration choices. We study the prevalence of these mechanisms in the Mexico-US migration context using a mixed methods approach. First, analyzing data from more than 90,000 individuals surveyed by the Mexican Migration Project (MMP) we establish the presence of network effects in migration and test how prior migrants in the family or community increase individuals’ migration propensities, and whether prior migrants reduce the effect of economic or political indicators on migration propensities. Second, we analyze qualitative data from 120 in-depth interviews to determine the different mechanisms that lead to interdependencies in individuals’ migration choices. We thus provide a deeper understanding of migration as a social process, which we contend is crucial for anticipating future flows and policy responses.

Linos, Elizabeth. 2013. “Do Conditional Cash Transfers Shift Votes? Evidence from the Honduran PRAF.” Electoral Studies 32: 864-874. Abstract
How do national social programs influence local voting? This study utilizes the experimental set up of a conditional cash transfer program to show that small, targeted cash transfers can have large electoral effects. The Honduran PRAF program allocated an average of $18 per capita per year to poor households within municipalities that were randomly assigned to receive the program. Although the program was administered at the national level, the program increased an incumbent mayor’s re-election probabilities by 39%, without significantly influencing voting behavior in presidential elections. Moreover, the evidence suggests that transferring cash to poor households were more effective at increasing political support than interventions providing public goods for poor villages.
Hertel-Fernandez, Alexander. 2013. “Dismantling Policy through Fiscal Constriction: Examining the Erosion in State Unemployment Insurance Finances.” Social Service Review 87. The University of Chicago Press: pp. 438-476. Publisher's Version Abstract
Abstract A common proposition in welfare state research is that programs financed through dedicated payroll taxes tend to be more durable. This article examines American unemployment insurance (UI) as an exception to this proposition. UI is a self-financed social insurance program whose benefits have been dismantled over time because of an inability to maintain a constant revenue base. The study first examines the long-run decline in UI finances and concludes that changes in UI taxes are associated with the largest declines in state finances. It then examines why more states have not pursued reforms to strengthen UI finances and finds that opponents of more generous UI benefits have generally succeeded in preventing such measures, thus constricting UI finances and gradually retrenching benefits. These findings have implications for those seeking to improve UI solvency, as well as for the study of welfare state retrenchment more generally.
Huang, Wei, and Yi Zhou. 2013. “Effects of Education on Cognition at Older Ages: Evidence from China’s Great Famine.” Social Science & Medicine 98: 54-62. Publisher's Version Abstract

This paper explores whether educational attainment has a cognitive reserve capacity in elder life. Using pilot data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), we examined the impact of education on cognitive abilities at old ages. OLS results showed that respondents who completed primary school obtained 18.2 percent higher scores on cognitive tests than those who did not. We then constructed an instrumental variable (IV) by leveraging China’s Great Famine of 1959e1961 as a natural experiment to estimate the causal effect of education on cognition. Two-stage least squares (2SLS) results provided sound evidence that completing primary school significantly increases cognition scores, especially in episode memory, by almost 20 percent on average. Moreover, Regression Discontinuity (RD) analysis provides further evidence for the causal interpretation, and shows that the effects are different for the different measures of cognition we explored. Our results also show that the Great Famine can result in long-term health consequences through the pathway of losing educational opportunities other than through the pathway of nutrition deprivation.

Huang, Wei, Xiaoyan Lei, John Strauss, Geert Ridder, and Yaohui Zhao. 2013. “Health, Height, Height Shrinkage, and SES at Older Ages: Evidence from China.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 5: 86-121. Publisher's Version Abstract

In this paper, we build on the literature that examines associations between height and health outcomes of the elderly. We investigate the associations of height shrinkage at older ages with socioeconomic status, finding that height shrinkage for both men and women is negatively associated with better schooling, current urban residence, and household per capita expenditures. We then investigate the relationships between pre-shrinkage height, height shrinkage, and a rich set of health outcomes of older respondents, finding that height shrinkage is positively associated with poor health outcomes across a variety of outcomes, being especially strong for cognition outcomes.

Feigenbaum, James J, and Cameron A Shelton. 2013. “The Vicious Cycle: Fundraising and Perceived Viability in US Presidential Primaries.” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 8 (1): 1-40. Publisher's Version Abstract
Scholars of presidential primaries have long posited a dynamic positive feedback loop between fundraising and electoral success. Yet existing work on both directions of this feedback remains inconclusive and is often explicitly cross-sectional, ignoring the dynamic aspect of the hypothesis. Pairing high-frequency FEC data on contributions and expenditures with Iowa Electronic Markets data on perceived probability of victory, we examine the bidirectional feedback between contributions and viability. We find robust, significant positive feedback in both directions. This might suggest multiple equilibria: a candidate initially anointed as the front-runner able to sustain such status solely by the fundraising advantage conferred despite possessing no advantage in quality. However, simulations suggest the feedback loop cannot, by itself, sustain advantage. Given the observed durability of front-runners, it would thus seem there is either some other feedback at work and/or the process by which the initial front-runner is identified is informative of candidate quality.
Papachristos, Andrew V, David M Hureau, and Anthony A Braga. 2013. “The Corner and the Crew: The Influence of Geography and Social Networks on Gang Violence.” American Sociological Review 78 (3): 417-447. Abstract

Nearly a century of empirical research examines how neighborhood properties influence a host of phenomena such as crime, poverty, health, civic engagement, immigration, and economic inequality. Theoretically bundled within these neighborhood effects are institutions’ and actors’ social networks that are the foundation of other neighborhood-level processes such as social control, mobilization, and cultural assimilation. Yet, despite such long-standing theoretical links between neighborhoods and social networks, empirical research rarely considers or measures dimensions of geography and social network mechanisms simultaneously. The present study seeks to fill this gap by analyzing how both geography and social networks influence an important social problem in urban America: gang violence. Using detailed data on fatal and non-fatal shootings, we examine effects of geographic proximity, organizational memory, and additional group processes (e.g., reciprocity, transitivity, and status seeking) on gang violence in Chicago and Boston. Results show adjacency of gang turf and prior conflict between gangs are strong predictors of subsequent gang violence. Furthermore, important network processes, including reciprocity and status seeking, also contribute to observed patterns of gang violence. In fact, we find that these spatial and network processes mediate racial effects, suggesting the primacy of place and the group in generating gang violence.

Eldik, Yaseen, and Monica C Bell. 2012. “The Establishment Clause and Public Education in an Islamophobic Era.” Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 8: 245-258. Abstract
The public education system has often been considered a critically important site for inter-ethnic dialogue designed to root out the prejudice that leads to discrimination against ethnic minorities. However, the prohibition of certain religious practices in schools has placed the "celebration" of religious diversity in a more precarious position than the promotion of racial diversity in ways that have deleterious effects for Muslim Americans. This Essay argues that Supreme Court jurisprudence on religious establishment in public schools has contributed to public education’s inefficacy as a tool to dismantle fear and prejudice against Muslims. We explore judicial, political, and practical approaches to bringing constitutionally permissible religious education and interfaith dialogue into public schools.
Western, Bruce, Deirdre Bloome, Benjamin Sosnaud, and Laura Tach. 2012. “Economic Insecurity and Social Stratification.” Annual Review of Sociology 38: 341-359. Publisher's Version Abstract
Economic insecurity describes the risk of economic loss faced by workers and households as they encounter the unpredictable events of social life. Our review suggests a four-part framework for studying the distribution and trends in these economic risks. First, a focus on households rather than workers captures the microlevel risk pooling that can smooth income flows and stabilize economic well-being. Second, insecurity is related to income volatility and the risk of downward mobility into poverty. Third, adverse events such as unemployment, family dissolution, or poor health commonly trigger income losses. Fourth, the effects of adverse events are mitigated by insurance relationships provided by government programs, employer benefits, and the informal support of families. Empirical research in these areas reveals high levels of economic insecurity among low-income households and suggests an increase in economic insecurity with the growth in economic inequality in the United States.
Hirsch, Nicole Arlette, and Anthony Abraham Jack. 2012. “What We Face: Framing Problems in the Black Community.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 9: 133-148. Abstract
While many sociological studies analyze the causes, conditions, and mechanisms perpetuating American racial inequality, the literature on how African Americans understand and explain these inequalities is less developed. Drawing on 150 interviews with middle-class and working-class African American men and women, this paper analyzes inductively how respondents define and conceptualize the most pressing obstacles facing their group when probed on this question. We find that middle- and working-class respondents alike identify the problem of racism as the most salient obstacle facing African Americans. Class differences appear with respect to what other obstacles are singled out as salient: while middle-class respondents focus on lack of racial solidarity among Blacks and economic problems (in this order), working-class respondents are more concerned with the fragility of the Black family followed by the lack of racial solidarity. This analysis discusses the relevance of considering how groups make sense of obstacles, and of racism and discrimination in particular, for the study of destigmatization and antiracist strategies of stigmatized minorities.
Papachristos, Andrew, Anthony Braga, and David Hureau. 2012. “Social Networks and the Risk of Gunshot Injury.” Journal of Urban Health 89 (6). Boston: 992-1003. Abstract

Direct and indirect exposure to gun violence have considerable consequences on individual health and well-being. However, no study has considered the effects of one’s social network on gunshot injury. This study investigates the relationship between an individual’s position in a high-risk social network and the probability of being a victim of a fatal or non-fatal gunshot wound by combining observational data from the police with records of fatal and non-fatal gunshot injuries among 763 individuals in Boston’s Cape Verdean community. A logistic regression approach is used to analyze the probability of being the victim of a fatal or non-fatal gunshot wound and whether such injury is related to age, gender, race, prior criminal activity, exposure to street gangs and other gunshot victims, density of one’s peer network, and the social distance to other gunshot victims. The findings demonstrate that 85 % all of the gunshot injuries in the sample occur within a single social network. Probability of gunshot victimization is related to one’s network distance to other gunshot victims: each network association removed from another gunshot victim reduces the odds of gunshot victimization by 25 % (odds ratio = 0.75

Braga, Anthony A, David M Hureau, and Andrew V Papachristos. 2011. “An Ex Post Facto Evaluation Framework for Place-Based Police Interventions.” Evaluation Review 35 (6): 592-626. Abstract

Background: A small but growing body of research evidence suggests that place-based police interventions generate significant crime control gains. While place-based policing strategies have been adopted by a majority of U.S. police departments, very few agencies make a priori commitments to rigorous evaluations. Objective: Recent methodological developments were applied to conduct a rigorous ex post facto evaluation of the Boston Police Department’s Safe Street Team (SST) hot spots policing program. Research Design: A nonrandomized quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the violent crime control benefits of the SST program at treated street segments and intersections relative to untreated street segments and intersections. Propensity score matching techniques were used to identify comparison places in Boston. Growth curve regression models were used to analyze violent crime trends at treatment places relative to control places. Units of Analysis: Using computerized mapping and database software, a micro-level place database of violent index crimes at all street segments and intersections in Boston was created. Measures: Yearly counts of violent index crimes between 2000 and 2009 at the treatment and comparison street segments and intersections served as the key outcome measure. Results: The SST program was associated with a statistically significant reduction in violent index crimes at the treatment places relative to the comparison places without displacing crime into proximate areas. Conclusions: To overcome the challenges of evaluation in real-world settings, evaluators need to continuously develop innovative approaches that take advantage of new theoretical and methodological approaches.

Robbery, and the fear it inspires, has a profound effect on the quality of life in certain urban neighborhoods. Recent advances in criminological research suggest that there is significant clustering of crime in micro places, or "hot spots," that generate a disproportionate amount of criminal events in a city. In this article, the authors use growth curve regression models to uncover distinctive developmental trends in robbery incidents at street segments and intersections in Boston over a 29-year period. The authors find that robberies are highly concentrated at a small number of street segments and intersections rather than spread evenly across the urban landscape over the study time period. Roughly 1 percent and 8 percent of street segments and intersections in Boston are responsible for nearly 50 percent of all commercial robberies and 66 percent of all street robberies, respectively, between 1980 and 2008. Our findings suggest that citywide robbery trends may be best understood by examining micro-level trends at a relatively small number of places in urban environments.

Braga, Anthony A, Anne M Piehl, and David Hureau. 2009. “Controlling Violent Offenders Released to the Community: An Evaluation of the Boston Reentry Initiative.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 46 (4): 411-436. Abstract

Despite the high level of funding and policy interest in prisoner reentry, there is still little rigorous scientific evidence to guide jurisdictions in developing reentry programs to enhance public safety, particularly for managing those who pose the greatest safety risks. The Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI) is an interagency initiative to help transition violent adult offenders released from the local jail back to their Boston neighborhoods through mentoring, social service assistance, and vocational development.This study uses a quasi-experimental design and survival analyses to evaluate the effects of the BRI on the subsequent recidivism of program participants relative to an equivalent control group. The authors find that the BRI was associated with significant reductions—on the order of 30 percent—in the overall and violent arrest failure rates.

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Latest policy, research briefs, and expert testimony

Pretrial detention

Proposals for improving the U.S. Pretrial System

March 15, 2019

The Hamilton Project | By Will Dobbie (PhD 2013) and Crystal S. Yang (PhD 2013). Will Dobbie is now Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Crystal S. Yang is Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Economics for Inclusive Prosperity

Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP) Launches

February 15, 2019

Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard Kennedy School, announced the launch of a new initiative - Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP) - a network of academic economists dedicated to producing creative policy ideas for an inclusive society and economy. Co-directing the initiative are Dani Rodrik, Suresh Naidu of Columbia University, and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley. Download the (free) EfIP eBook: Economics for Inclusive Prosperity: An Introduction and policy briefs.

View the EfIP eBook (pdf) ▶ 
View all policy briefs ▶

BPEA heartland

Saving the heartland: Place-based policies in 21st century America

March 8, 2018
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity | By Benjamin Austin, Edward Glaeser, and Lawrence Summers. Austin is a PhD candidate in Economics at Harvard. Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard. Lawrence Summers is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University.
Tax reform

Macroeconomic effects of the 2017 tax reform

March 8, 2018
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity | By Robert J. Barro and Jason Furman. Barro is Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard. Furman is Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. 
Lawrence F. Katz

Imagining a Future of Work That Fosters Mobility for All

February 1, 2018
U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty | Idea paper by Lawrence Katz, Ai-Jen Poo, and Elaine Waxman. Lawrence Katz is Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard and a member of U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty.
Restoring the American Dream: What Would It Take to Dramatically Increase Mobility from Poverty?

Restoring the American Dream: What Would It Take to Dramatically Increase Mobility from Poverty?

January 23, 2018

US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty | The US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty is a collaboration of 24 leading scholars, policy experts, and practitioners tasked with answering one big, bold, and exciting question: What would it take to dramatically increase mobility from poverty? This two-year project was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Co-authored by David T. Ellwood, Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and Nisha G. Patel, Executive Director of the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, Urban Institute

David J. Deming

The Value of Soft Skills in the Labor Market

January 17, 2018
NBER Reporter | By David J. Deming (PhD '10), Professor at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Deming provides an overview of the current state of research on soft skills in the labor market. His own work in this area, "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," appears in the November 2017 issue of Quarterly Journal of Economics.
View the research
Can the Financial Benefit of Lobbying be Quantified?

Can the Financial Benefit of Lobbying be Quantified?

January 16, 2018
Washington Center for Equitable Growth | A look at a new paper by Inequality doctoral fellow Brian Libgober, PhD candidate in Government, and Daniel Carpenter, Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, "Lobbying with Lawyers: Financial Market Evidence for Banks' Influence on Rulemaking."
View the research
Does a Criminal Past Predict Worker Performance? Evidence from One of America’s Largest Employers

Does a Criminal Past Predict Worker Performance? Evidence from One of America’s Largest Employers

January 12, 2018
Social Forces | New research by Harvard's Devah Pager and collaborators  Jennifer Hickes Lundquist and Eiko Strader provides one of the first systematic assessments of workplace performance by those with criminal records. Examining military employment records, they find that, overall, the military's screening process can result in successful employment outcomes for those with felony convictions. An important question, they write, is whether the military's 'whole person' review can apply succssfully to the civilian sector. Pager is Professor of Sociology and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard.
An inside view of credit checks in hiring

An inside view of credit checks in hiring

October 14, 2017
Work in Progress | By Barbara Kiviat, PhD candidate in Sociology & Social Policy. Barbara Kiviat summarizes findings from her research, "The Art of Deciding with Data," recently published in Socio-Economic Review.  Work in Progress is the American Sociological Assocation's blog for short-form sociology on the economy, work, and inequality.
Jason Furman - PIIE Macroeconomic Policy Conference

Should Policymakers Care Whether Inequality is Helpful or Harmful for Growth?

October 13, 2017
Peterson Institute for International Economics | Presentation by Jason Furman (Harvard Kennedy School) at PIIE's "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy Conference," with discussion by Dani Rodrik (Harvard Kennedy School), Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Justin Wolfers (PhD '01). View the paper, slides, and conference videos at the conference webpage.