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Latest Inequality & Social Policy In the News

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.

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).

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.

Latest commentary and analysis

The False Economic Promise of Global Governance

The False Economic Promise of Global Governance

August 11, 2016

Project Syndicate | By Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School. The problems of our day have little to do with a lack of global cooperation, but rather are rooted in failures of domestic deliberation, Rodrik argues.  Improved democratic decision-making ought to be our focus.

"Perhaps the biggest policy letdown of our day is the failure of governments in advanced democracies to address rising inequality. This, too, has its roots in domestic politics—financial and business elites’ grip on the policymaking process and the narratives they have spun about the limits of redistributive policies."... Read more about The False Economic Promise of Global Governance

Like an ineffective parent, Paul Ryan is just enabling Trump

Like an ineffective parent, Paul Ryan is just enabling Trump

August 11, 2016

Washington Post | Opinion column by political theorist Danielle Allen, Professor of Government, argues that the House Speaker, in his reluctance to repudiate the GOP candidate, is enabling the "further and especially steep descent of American political culture into a nihilism corrosive enough to imperil the foundations of democracy and constitutional politics."

This election isn't about right vs. left. It's about "we" vs. "I." A discussion with the author of 'Bowling Alone'

This election isn't about right vs. left. It's about "we" vs. "I." A discussion with the author of 'Bowling Alone'

August 8, 2016

Vox | Discussion with Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy. 

"I think the category of people that you're calling liberal cosmopolitans, really the upper and upper middle class of America, are increasingly disconnected from working-class America. I mean that in a very specific sense," Robert Putnam said. "Our residences are increasingly segregated by class. Our schools are increasingly segregated by class. Our extended families are increasingly separated by class."

Using Behavioural Science to Improve the Government Workforce

Using Behavioural Science to Improve the Government Workforce

August 8, 2016

Oxford Government Review |  By Elizabeth Linos (Ph.D. '16), in the inaugural issue of the Oxford Government Review (p. 41). Linos and Harvard's Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, spoke at the Challenges of Government Conference 2016, held at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government in May 2016.

Linos is currently VP and Head of Research and Evaluation at the Behavioral Insights Team in North America, where she works with city governments across the US to improve programs using behavioral science and to build capacity around rigorous evaluation. Lean more about Linos's research:
scholar.harvard.edu/elinos

'Pay for Success' in the UK and the US

'Pay for Success' in the UK and the US

August 8, 2016

Oxford Government Review | By Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, in the inaugural issue of the Oxford Government Review (p. 50). Liebman and Elizabeth Linos (Ph.D. '16) spoke at the Challenges of Government Conference 2016, held at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government in May 2016. Conference summaries and videos are also included at the link.

Growth and Fairness Aren't a Tradeoff

Growth and Fairness Aren't a Tradeoff

August 7, 2016

Washington Post | By Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor. Summers makes the progressive case for championing pro-growth policies. This column also appeared in the Financial Times.

Nathaniel Hendren on Market Frictions and Inequality

Nathaniel Hendren on Market Frictions and Inequality

August 5, 2016

HCEO | Nathaniel Hendren, Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard, sits down for a short video interview to discuss his research, which addresses a broad range of issues at the intersection of theoretical and empirical work in public economics. Hendren talks about his work on insurance markets, on intergenerational mobility, important questions for future research and policy, and his perspectives on integrating theory and empirics. 

Asked about important issues that have not been addressed in any of these literatures: "I think the idea that place matters [for children’s outcomes and economic mobility] has generated interest in thinking about place as a potential role for policy." But what's really difficult, says Hendren, is thinking about the trade-offs between place-based and choice-based policies, as well as national approaches such as income tax measures. "I think all of these analyses will be part of an agenda in the next 5-10 years to really understand the relative benefits and tradeoffs of the different options we have for improving the opportunities faced by low-income kids.”

Hendren has taught in HCEO's Summer School on Socioeconomic Inequality at the University of Chicago for the past two years.

Why the G.O.P Can't Win Black Votes

Why the G.O.P Can't Win Black Votes

August 4, 2016

The New York Times | By Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. "With every news cycle focused on Donald J. Trump’s latest misstep, it’s easy to overlook the fact that his campaign has drawn record low support from African-Americans — and that this achievement, as it were, illuminates something worrisome within the Republican Party itself."

Prison goes hand in hand with poverty and violence in the Northern Territory

Prison goes hand in hand with poverty and violence in the Northern Territory

August 3, 2016

The Guardian | By Bruce Western, Professor of Sociology and Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy. With research teams from Harvard University, Western has been studying incarceration and its aftermath at Rikers Island, and more recently, in the Top End of the Northern Territory in Australia. Here he explores the parallels of mass incarceration, poverty, and racial inequality.... Read more about Prison goes hand in hand with poverty and violence in the Northern Territory

Democrats are losing to Republicans at the state level, and badly. Here's why.

Democrats are losing to Republicans at the state level, and badly. Here's why.

August 3, 2016

Vox | By Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and Theda Skocpol. "Faced with a loose-cannon 2016 GOP presidential nominee who disagrees with them on key issues, Charles and David Koch — the two billionaire "Koch brothers" — are directing the vast resources of their political network toward down-ballot races. This should alarm liberals greatly," write Hertel-Fernandez and Skocpol.

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez (Ph.D. '16) is an assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. Theda Skocpol is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University.

White people think racism is getting worse. Against white people.

White people think racism is getting worse. Against white people.

July 21, 2016

Washington Post | By Samuel Sommers (Tufts) and Michael Norton (Harvard Business School): Our research found whites think anti-white bias is more of a problem than anti-black bias. Our research also suggests that among whites, there’s a lingering view that the American Dream is a “fixed pie,” such that the advancement of one group of citizens must come at the expense of all the other groups.
View the research

How Changing Rent Subsidies Could Impact D.C.

How Changing Rent Subsidies Could Impact D.C.

July 20, 2016

WAMU—The Kojo Nnamdi Show | Eva Rosen (Ph.D. '14) and Adrianne Todman, Executive Director of the D.C. Housing Authority, guest to discuss how a proposed change to HUD's method of calculating housing subsidies to better reflect local housing costs could affect neighborhoods and upward mobility for families in the D.C. area. Rosen is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Poverty and Inequality Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. Read more about Rosen's work at evarosen.org.