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Latest Inequality & Social Policy In the News

Donald Trump's infrastructure illusion

Donald Trump's infrastructure illusion

November 16, 2016

Chicago Tribune | Column cites research by Andrew Garin, Ph.D. candidate in Political Economy and Government, who examined the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on local employment growth. Using geographically-detailed data on highway construction, Garin found no effect on employment in the local of the construction site, showing that this was because the majority of contractors, selected by competitive bidding, commute from other local labor markets.
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Trump Campaign's Easy Answers Confront Hard Reality

Trump Campaign's Easy Answers Confront Hard Reality

November 15, 2016

The New York Times | Eduardo Porter column quotes Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy: “What happens when Trump realizes he cannot adequately respond to the expectations he has raised?” he asked. “Does he respond to economic failure like all populists around the world do — by further polarizing the nation and deepening divisions based on identity? And what does that do the quality of our democracy?”... Read more about Trump Campaign's Easy Answers Confront Hard Reality

Trust Me

Trust Me

November 10, 2016

Freakonomics Radio | Societies where people trust one another are healthier and wealthier. In the U.S. (and the U.K. and elsewhere), social trust has been falling for decades. Features Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy, and Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics [audio + transcript].

Trump and Apocalyptic Thinking

Trump and Apocalyptic Thinking

November 10, 2016

Harvard Magazine | Coverage of "Dark and Stormy: Reflections on the Election,” a panel discussion with Harvard faculty members Jill Lepore (Kemper Professor of American History), David Laibson (Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics), and Danielle Allen (Professor of Government and Director of the Safra Center for Ethics), hosted by the Mahindra Humanities Center.
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Faculty Analyze Climate Around Trump’s Victory

Faculty Analyze Climate Around Trump’s Victory

November 10, 2016

Harvard Crimson | Government professor Danielle Allen, economics professor David Laibson, and History professor Jill Lepore sat down to talk economics, politics, and demographics in the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump's victory for a panel sponsored by Harvard's Mahindra Humanities Center.
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How Do We Unlearn Racism?

How Do We Unlearn Racism?

November 9, 2016

Complex | "Can our racism be unlearned? Experts believe perhaps it can, but that work starts with a better understanding of the nation's history." Features Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of Race, History, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

Why neither Trump nor Clinton’s plans will fix Social Security

Why neither Trump nor Clinton’s plans will fix Social Security

November 7, 2016

MarketWatch | Features Harvard Kennedy School professor Brigitte Madrian on policy measures that would specifically address the solvency of the Social Security system. Madrian was a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings, which recently issued the report cited in the article.

Schools that Work

Schools that Work

November 4, 2016

The New York Times | Sunday Review column by David Leonhardt highlights new evidence, "among the most rigorous," by Joshua Angrist (MIT), Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. '15, now Columbia University), Susan Dynarski (University of Michigan), Parag Pathak (MIT), and Christopher Walters (UC Berkeley) showing impressive results from Boston's charter high schools. Among their findings, the article notes that "Boston's charters eliminate one-third to one-half of the white-black test-score gap in a single year."

“Relative to other things that social scientists and education policy people have tried to boost performance—class sizes, tracking, new buildings—these schools are producing spectacular gains,” said Angrist.
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What's your ideal community? The answer is political

What's your ideal community? The answer is political

November 3, 2016

The New York Times | Features research by Ryan D. Enos, Associate Professor of Government, who "simulated the effects of added diversity in white suburbs by hiring Spanish speakers to board commuter trains outside Boston...'There are a lot of things we can experiment on, but context in itself is this widely diffuse and complex thing,' Mr. Enos said. Nailing down how we’re shaped by it, he said, 'is the most impossible problem in social science.'"
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Michèle Lamont delivers keynote at COES-LSE Inequalities conference in Santiago

Michèle Lamont delivers keynote at COES-LSE Inequalities conference in Santiago

November 2, 2016

COES-LSE | Michèle Lamont gave the first keynote presentation at the 2016 COES-LSE Inequalities conference, an international conference jointly held by The Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies-COES and the International Inequalities Institute-LSE in Santiago, Chile, November 2-4, 2016. Lamont spoke on Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel, her new book published in September by Princeton University Press. The book is co-authored with a team of sociologists, including former Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellows Graziella Moraes Silva (Ph.D. '10) and Jessica S. Welburn (Ph.D. '11), as well as Joshua Guetzkow, Nissim Mizrachi, Hanna Herzog & Elisa Reis. Lamont is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and professor of sociology and of African and African American studies at Harvard University.

Vote 'yes' on Question 2

Vote 'yes' on Question 2

October 30, 2016

Boston Globe | Boston Globe editorial urges lifting the charter school cap, citing research by Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. '15), Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, and co-authors Joshua Angrist, Susan Dynarski, Parag Pathak, and Christopher Walter. The research, "Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston’s Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice, appears in the Journal of Labor Economics 34,2 (2016).
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Latest awards

Congratulations, new Ph.D.'s!

Congratulations, new Ph.D.'s!

May 28, 2015

Sixteen Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellows receive their Ph.D's. See what's next for these grads.

Roland Fryer is the 2015 John Bates Clark Medalist

Roland Fryer is the 2015 John Bates Clark Medalist

April 24, 2015

Awardee | Roland Fryer.
Awarded by the American Economics Association to "that American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge."

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."