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Latest Inequality & Social Policy In the News

Women in Elite Jobs Face Stubborn Pay Gap

Women in Elite Jobs Face Stubborn Pay Gap

May 17, 2016

Wall Street Journal | With insights from Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics. Article includes interactive data visualization showing pay gaps by occupation.

The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference

The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference

May 10, 2016

Washington Post | Delves into research by Ann Owens (Ph.D. '12) of University of Southern California showing that growing income segregation since 1990 has been driven almost entirely by what's happening among families with children. Given considerable research showing the advantage of neighborhood context on children's outcomes, this has implications for widening gaps in future outcomes. View the study in the American Sociological Review.

Deeper learning: More crucial than ever, and yet too rare

Deeper learning: More crucial than ever, and yet too rare

May 10, 2016

Seattle Times | Article featuring Jal Mehta (Ph.D. '06), Associate Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, who explains what it means to be in search of deeper learning and why it has become more urgent in today's economy.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

May 9, 2016

Commonweal | Frank Pasquale reviews Matthew Desmond's Evicted: "One cannot read Evicted and conclude that a few technocratic tweaks, embedded in some meliorist plan for improving the housing market, will suitably address the growing crisis of unstable and inadequate housing."

David Ellwood Named Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

David Ellwood Named Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

May 9, 2016

Harvard Kennedy School | David T. Ellwood, Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy, has been named director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Dean Douglas Elmendorf announced today. Ellwood begins his appointment on July 1. Ellwood, who first joined the Harvard faculty in 1980, served as the eighth dean of Harvard Kennedy School from July 2004 through June 2015.

Black Americans See Gains in Life Expectancy

Black Americans See Gains in Life Expectancy

May 8, 2016

The New York Times | Quotes Robert J. Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences. Also David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, who spoke about health disparities by race in the Inequality & Social Seminar Series, February 8, 2016.

Interview with Jennifer Hochschild

Interview with Jennifer Hochschild

May 6, 2016

E-International Relations | Jennifer Hochschild, Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government and Professor of African and African American Studies, sits down for a discussion of what she sees as the most exciting research and debates she sees happening in her field, and what has prompted the most significant shifts in her thinking.

More Evidence for Lead Poisoning as a Key Crime Driver

More Evidence for Lead Poisoning as a Key Crime Driver

May 3, 2016

Talking Points Memo | Features research by James Feigenbaum (Ph.D. candidate in Economics) and Christopher Muller (Ph.D. '14, now an assistant professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley) linking lead exposure and violent crime in the early 20th century. Feigenbaum and Muller presented this work, which is forthcoming in Explorations in Economic History, in the Inequality Seminar on April 18. Read the Feigenbaum and Muller paper.

The Republican-big business alliance is fraying. Now what?

The Republican-big business alliance is fraying. Now what?

May 2, 2016

Vox | Features research by Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Ph.D. candidate in Government & Social Policy, and Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government & Social Policy, from their paper "Billionaires against Big Business: Growing Tensions in the Republican Party Coalition." 

Also cites Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '15, now a fellow at the Brookings Institution), The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.

Does First-Class Inequality Lead to Air Rage?

Does First-Class Inequality Lead to Air Rage?

May 2, 2016

New York Magazine: Science of Us | Explores new study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, by Katherine DeCelles (University of Toronto) and Michael I. Norton (Harvard Business School). Norton, a social psychologist, is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration and a member of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group.
View the research 

Is There a Better Way to Pay for America's Schools?

Is There a Better Way to Pay for America's Schools?

May 1, 2016

NPR Weekend Edition | Nora Gordon (Ph.D. '02), Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, explains how Title I, an anti-poverty program, privileges wealthy, high-spending states. The article notes that Gordon "has spent her career studying Title I and its effects on schools and has just released a few big ideas to improve it."

Latest commentary and analysis

The Lists Told Us Otherwise

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.

Best of 2016: Part 1

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

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/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 

Residential Mobility by Whites Maintains Segregation Despite Recent Changes

Residential Mobility by Whites Maintains Segregation Despite Recent Changes

December 21, 2016

NYU Furman Center | By Jackelyn Hwang (Ph.D. '15), essay for the NYU Furman Center discussion series "The Dream Revisited." Hwang is postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University, and in fall 2017 will join the Stanford University faculty as Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Trump Is Going After Health Care. Will Democrats Push Back?

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 made clear, 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."

Tomás Jiménez: Immigration, the American Identity, and the Election

Tomás Jiménez: Immigration, the American Identity, and the Election

December 16, 2016

Peninsula TV—The Game |  Tomás Jiménez (Ph.D. '05), Stanford Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the program Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, 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).

How Does Parental Satisfaction Vary across School Sectors?

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. Paul Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard. Martin West (Ph.D. '06) is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Eduation and editor-in-chief of Education Next.

What Do Parents Think of Their Children’s Schools?

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) isi 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.

Trump’s Education Pick: A Win for Public-School Parents

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 Governnance 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.

Want to Feel Less Time-Stressed? Here’s one surprisingly effective solution: Give some time away.

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."

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 everyday response to racism

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.

Is the American Dream Fading?

Is the American Dream Fading?

December 9, 2016

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

Why Are Fewer Adults Surpassing Their Parents’ Incomes?

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."

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.