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Latest Inequality & Social Policy In the News

Good jobs without a degree? Boston's $3 million test

Good jobs without a degree? Boston's $3 million test

April 11, 2016

Christian Science Monitor | Facing problems of income inequality, US cities looking at new ways to create well-paying jobs for workers. With insights from Alicia Sasser Modestino (Ph.D. '01), associate professor at Northeastern University.

The Puzzles for Pollsters

The Puzzles for Pollsters

April 6, 2016

Harvard Gazette | Coverage of Political Analytics conference, which explored the field of data analytics and its potential applications to politics. Organized by Ryan Enos, Associate Professor of Government, and Kirk Goldsberry, a visiting scholar at Harvard's Center for Geographic Analysis, the event was hosted by the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University.

When the Poor Move, Do They Move Up?

When the Poor Move, Do They Move Up?

April 6, 2016

The American Prospect | Quotes Patrick Sharkey (Ph.D. '07) of New York University, and Justin Wolfers (Ph.D. '01) of University of Michigan.

How Longer School Days Can Fight the Effects of Income Inequality

How Longer School Days Can Fight the Effects of Income Inequality

April 5, 2016

The Boston Globe Magazine| Cites faculty affiliates Robert Putnam on what affluent families spend on after-school, vacation, and summer learning opportunities for their children, and Roland Fryer on the benefits of increased school time as a predictor of student success. 

Boston hopes data can aid its efforts in fighting fires

Boston hopes data can aid its efforts in fighting fires

April 4, 2016

Boston Globe | Quotes Jeffrey B. Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy, who notes that "Over the past several years the City of Boston has emerged as a national leader in creatively using technology to improve public services." The article details a brief released by the Harvard Kennedy School Rapport Institute, which tracks how the city of Boston is using data and digital technology.

In poor neighborhoods, is it better to fix up or move out?

In poor neighborhoods, is it better to fix up or move out?

April 4, 2016

Christian Science Monitor | Quotes Robert J. Sampson (Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences) on the limitations of focusing on moving people out of bad neighborhoods. Also cites finding by Raj Chetty (Stanford University) and Harvard's Nathaniel Hendren (Assistant Professor of Economics) that "the causal effects of place" account for 50-70 percent of the differences in intergenerational mobility.

With "Gigs" Instead of Jobs, Workers Bear New Burdens

With "Gigs" Instead of Jobs, Workers Bear New Burdens

March 31, 2016

The New York Times | Discusses implications of new research by Lawrence Katz (Elisabeth Allen Professor of Economics) and Alan Krueger (Princeton University) showing that proportion of American workers who don’t have traditional jobs — who instead work as independent contractors, through temporary services or on-call — has soared in the last decade. View the research.

The Lifelong Health Toll of Schoolyard Racism

The Lifelong Health Toll of Schoolyard Racism

March 29, 2016

Pacific Standard | Quotes and cites David R. Williams, the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. Williams discussed this research in his Inequality & Social Policy Seminar presentation, Feb 8, 2016 (Read more). 

On Chicago’s West Side, no rebound from the recession

On Chicago’s West Side, no rebound from the recession

March 29, 2016

The Chicago Reporter | Article examining black joblessness quotes Devah Pager on the effects of a criminal record and racial discrimination that African-American job-seekers face. Pager is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy.

Contract Workforce Outpaces Growth in Silicon-Valley Style ‘Gig’ Jobs

Contract Workforce Outpaces Growth in Silicon-Valley Style ‘Gig’ Jobs

March 25, 2016

Wall Street Journal | Discusses new research by Lawrence Katz, Elisabeth Allen Professor of Economics at Harvard, and Alan Krueger of Princeton University, showing that that the number of workers in alternative arrangements—including contract work, on-call labor, and temp workers—has risen to nearly 16% of the workforce from 10% a decade ago, and what it means that a growing share of the workforce "has come untethered from stable employment and its attendant benefits and job protections."

... Read more about Contract Workforce Outpaces Growth in Silicon-Valley Style ‘Gig’ Jobs

The Dream Team That Could Fix Drug Pricing

The Dream Team That Could Fix Drug Pricing

March 24, 2016

Forbes | Among the suggestions, Amitabh Chandra, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisors.

Undocumented US immigrants are far likelier to be working than American men

Undocumented US immigrants are far likelier to be working than American men

March 22, 2016

Quartz | Delves into new NBER working paper by George J. Borjas, which is described as an "ambitious attempt to shed light on how undocumented immigrants in the US have typically interacted with the U.S. labor market over the last two decades." Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Read the original research: "The Labor Supply of Undocumented Immigrants."

Latest commentary and analysis

Race in America: Looking to the Past to Understand the Present

Race in America: Looking to the Past to Understand the Present

October 24, 2016

Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast | HKS Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad makes the case that contemporary hot-button issues like race and policing, as well as mass incarceration, are fundamentally rooted in a widespread failure to fully educate Americans about their country’s racial history.

What you need to know about ED’s proposed rule on Title I supplement-not-supplant

What you need to know about ED’s proposed rule on Title I supplement-not-supplant

October 21, 2016

Brookings Institution | By Nora E. Gordon (Ph.D. '02), Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Gordon has testified on the implications of the proposed supplement not supplant regulation before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and (in Sept 2016) the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education (view).

After Words with George Borjas

After Words with George Borjas

October 20, 2016

C-SPAN Book TV | George Borjas talked about his book We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative, in which he examines the impact of immigration on the U.S. economy throughout history. He is interviewed by Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Closing of the American Border. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

After Words with George Borjas

After Words with George Borjas

October 20, 2016

C-SPAN Book TV | George Borjas talked about his book We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative, in which he examines the impact of immigration on the U.S. economy. He is interviewed by Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Closing of the American Border.  Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School [video + transcript: 60 minutes].

Barack Obama's Eight-Year Balancing Act

Barack Obama's Eight-Year Balancing Act

October 19, 2016

The 2016 New Yorker Festival |Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, joined a discussion with Congressman Keith Ellison, Jelani Cobb, Alicia Garza, and Margo Jefferson that took a look back at the Obama Presidency.

How to Hire with Algorithms

How to Hire with Algorithms

October 17, 2016

Harvard Business Review |  By Oren Danieli (Ph.D. candidate in Business Economics), Andrew Hillis, and Michael Luca (Assistant Professor of Business Administration). Algorithms have the potential to improve hiring and promotion decisions, the authors argue, but need to be managed.

"We explored that potential in a recent study (American Economic Review, May 2016) on selecting teachers and policemen. We used machine learning algorithms to transform data about teacher and police characteristics – for example, educational background, surveys, and test performance – into predictions about their likely performance in the future. Our results demonstrate that students and communities alike could benefit from a more data-driven selection process. Algorithms can help with some of the nation’s most challenging personnel issues. For example, the data suggest that police departments can predict, at the time of hire, which officers are most likely to be involved in a shooting or accused of abuse."
View the research

Who Are Immigration's Winners and Losers?

Who Are Immigration's Winners and Losers?

October 17, 2016

WBUR—Radio Boston | Both major party candidates have staked claims on the impact of immigration on the U.S. Harvard economist George Borjas says each side of the debate is ignoring key points about the economic impacts of immigration. Borjas, Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative, published this month by W.W. Norton and Company.

Event video: Race and Justice in the Age of Obama

Event video: Race and Justice in the Age of Obama

October 12, 2016

Harvard IOP | Panelists Paul Monteiro, Acting Director of Community Relations Service at the U.S. Department of Justice; Brittany Packnett, Vice President of National Communities Alliances, Teach for America and Co-founder of Campaign Zero; and Avik Roy, President of The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and Editor of Forbes Opinion join moderator Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, for a John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum event. Opening remarks by Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. Co-sponsored by the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.

Cross-Cultural Responses to Discrimination: A Q&A with Michèle Lamont

Cross-Cultural Responses to Discrimination: A Q&A with Michèle Lamont

October 11, 2016

Weatherhead Center for International Affairs—Epicenter | Interview with Michèle Lamont, Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and professor of sociology and of African and African American studies at Harvard University, about her new book Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel.

The book is co-authored with a team of sociologists, including Inequality & Social Policy doctoral fellow alumnae Graziella Moraes Silva (Ph.D. 10) and Jessica Welburn (Ph.D. '11). Silva is now Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology with The Graduate Institute in Geneva, and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Vice Chair of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Social Inequality at the University of Rio de Janeiro. Welburn is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Iowa.

A Prize Worth Celebrating

A Prize Worth Celebrating

October 9, 2016

Wall Street Journal | By Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics. In his review of “The Nobel Factor," Glaeser argues that "the best role for the Nobel Prize in economics is not to advance an ideology but rather to reinforce the requirement that economists should play by the same rules as scientists. "

Tax Me. Please.

Tax Me. Please.

October 8, 2016

The New York Times | By Vanessa Williamson (Ph.D. '15), fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. "Asked what bothers them most about taxes, Americans overwhelmingly say the feeling that the wealthy and corporations are not paying their fair share. This is the top issue for nearly two-thirds of Americans. In contrast, 8 percent of Americans say that their biggest concern is the amount they personally pay in taxes. What upsets most people about taxes is not the amount they contribute. They are angry about the amount that the wealthy can avoid contributing."

Recommendations for Federal Budget Policy

Recommendations for Federal Budget Policy

October 7, 2016

Brookings Institution | By Douglas W Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. This brief is part of "Election 2016 and America’s Future." a Brookings-wide initiative in which Brookings scholars have identified the biggest issues facing the country this election season and are providing individual ideas for how to address them. Elmendorf was a visiting fellow with Brookings until he became Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School in January 2016.

Sending Potatoes to Idaho? How the Free Market Can Fight Poverty

Sending Potatoes to Idaho? How the Free Market Can Fight Poverty

October 7, 2016

The New York Times | By Sendhil Mullainathan, Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics. "It turns out that when you analyze objections to free markets on these grounds, they contain two basic issues: First, goods go to the highest bidder; second, bidders possess different amounts of wealth. Disentangling these two factors is important. When markets produce outcomes that seem unfair, it is usually the second factor — the wealth disparity — that is to blame. Place bidders on an equal footing and the superior efficiency of the market becomes evident."... Read more about Sending Potatoes to Idaho? How the Free Market Can Fight Poverty

A Horrible Idea: Trump’s Push for Stop-and-Frisk Nationwide

A Horrible Idea: Trump’s Push for Stop-and-Frisk Nationwide

October 6, 2016

Moyers & company | Before stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York City, historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad spoke out about a program he called an “enduring form of surveillance and racial control.” Interview with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School [text and video].

Latest policy, research briefs, and expert testimony

The Great Gatsby Curve: All heat, no light

The Great Gatsby Curve: All heat, no light

May 20, 2015

Brookings Institution—Social Mobility Memos | By Scott Winship.  Second of a series of memos on both sides of the "The Great Gatsby Curve" debate, including pieces by Alan Krueger (Princeton University) and Heather Boushey (Washington Center for Equitable Growth).

Six Examples of the Long-Term Benefits of Anti-Poverty Programs

Six Examples of the Long-Term Benefits of Anti-Poverty Programs

May 11, 2015

Council of Economic Advisers | CEA Chairman Jason Furman web brief provides a more detailed detailed discussion of the research mentioned in his New York Times op-ed, "Smart Social Programs". This brief highlights research by  Sarah Cohodes (Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy), David Deming (faculty member and Ph.D. '10), Lawrence KatzJeffrey Liebman, Jonah Rockoff (Ph.D. '04), and Christopher Wimer (Ph.D. '07).