Sources

PW Sources is a weekly newsletter of compelling reading across the social sciences. We surface relevant research and writing on issues of politics, economics, finance, history, and more. Each week we highlight research from a graduate student, postdoc, or early-career professor. Send us recommendations: editorial@jainfamilyinstitute.org.


In October, over 10,000 John Deere workers went on strike, 1,400 Kellogg's workers followed suit, and…

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In recent decades, policy arenas which are resistant to national and international regulation have seen the…

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After two years of publishing, we are thrilled to launch a new website. Our new home—developed and designed…

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While a group of statisticians recently found the 2020 US Census to be free of major errors, many were concerned about…

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Since the mid-19th century, municipal debt has been responsible for funding some of the most significant…

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Both consumers and businesses have felt the effects of ongoing backlogs in global supply chains. The…

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As the Fed moves towards tightening its post-pandemic monetary policy, developing countries around the world face…

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A rise in deportations of Haitian immigrants at the US-Mexico border has brought another cycle of…

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The possible collapse of Evergrande, China's second largest property developer, has reverberated through global financial markets.…

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This week, millions in California voted in support of Governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election.…

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Long held to be essential for development, capital flows have come under increasing scrutiny for their…

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Haiti won independence from France in 1804, but in return for recognizing its formerly enslaved colony,…

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Earlier this year, global carbon markets were valued at a record breaking $277 billion. The number…

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Observers in the past decades have commented on increased urbanization in India, which has led to…

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75 percent of US firms currently make use of non-disclosure agreements. Originally developed to protect trade…

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This week, the Mexican government sued eleven major US arms manufacturers, alleging that they facilitated the…

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MICRO-STRATEGY Accounts of major historical shifts tend to treat states as unified actors responding to external…

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Structures of unfree labor have always been at the edge of current and historical discourse on…

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Earlier this week, the EU published a series of proposals aimed at reducing its carbon emissions…

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Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on Wednesday, plunging the country into greater political unrest following…

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The impending retreat of US troops from Afghanistan has brought renewed discussion on Pakistan amidst both…

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Since the 2000 World Water Forum in The Hague, governance over water resources has gained salience…

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Earlier this week, global leaders at the G7 summit signed a "green belt and road initiative,"…

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former congresswoman and daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori. The contest has revealed deep polarization in…

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This week marked the 640th anniversary of the 1381 Great Rising, a rebellion which swept across…

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Though the US economy remains about 10 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic levels, employers and…

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Recent events in Gaza and Colombia have led to calls for the conditioning of foreign aid—a…

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Use of the most recent government stimulus varied by income, with richer households saving the money…

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In the late 2000s, the term "land grab" rose to prominence to describe large-scale acquisitions of…

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Millions of workers in global supply chains have lost their jobs as a result of the…

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The US government spends upwards of $20 billion annually on domestic agricultural support programs, but with…

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In January 2021, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans to build ‘The…

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Amid the global Covid-19 vaccination campaign, a debate has emerged around intellectual property (IP) and stark…

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Earlier this week, the blockage of the Suez Canal by the giant Ever Given container ship…

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Frequent mass shootings and recurring political struggle over gun control measures are uniquely American social phenomena.

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Debates concerning the relative role of structure versus agency in explaining social phenomena has endured for…

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The Covid-19 pandemic has brought attention to the underfunding of US public health infrastructure over the…

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Deindustrialization is a key orienting point for research in political economy. But around the world, factory…

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Since November 2020, thousands of Indian farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and other states have protested the…

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Earlier this week, millions of households lost power in the face of a powerful snowstorm. While…

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The proposed Covid-19 stimulus package in the US has reignited debate around inflation. Much contemporary concern…

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While the neoliberal era appears to be in crisis, we took on a project to investigate…

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Next week marks the launching of our first book-length Phenomenal World publication: Market Economy, Market Society:…

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Outside of Brazil, the Bolsa Familia is known as the hallmark social policy of the former…

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The simultaneous integration of global markets and decentralization of government within nation states has been a…

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The deep divisions in American political and social life have long been thought to explain the…

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In the wake of recent financial convulsions, central banks have emerged yet again as the first…

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Between 1940 and 1990, housing growth in the United States outpaced population growth by 173 to…

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This year's turbulent oil market, in combination with the Covid-19 pandemic, has threatened the financial outlook…

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Recent studies estimate approximately 60% of the world's population earns their wages in the informal economy.…

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The conclusion of the United States election has prompted a resurgence of commentaries on the state's…

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With Covid-19 cases again rising around the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has faced increased…

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The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has sparked ongoing debates over the…

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India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has dominated Indian politics in…

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Explanations for the absence of a universal healthcare program in the United States tend to focus…

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With millions facing housing insecurity, the economic downturn has sparked concerns of a new housing crisis.…

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Recent weeks have seen proliferating analyses of the constitutional infrastructure of the US, and speculation over…

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It is well known that the share of the global labor force working in services has…

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Since the first export processing zone was established in Puerto Rico during the 1940s, special economic…

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Land acquisitions have been on the rise since 2008, when rising oil prices and an international…

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In addition to straining America's existing welfare infrastructure, the pandemic has fundamentally altered labor markets and…

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The compound risks of climate catastrophe and Covid-19 have defined the year thus far. As the…

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Covid is accelerating the transition away from cash and encouraging the development of state-backed digital currencies.…

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Standard postwar theories of class composition in the global north emphasized occupational differences between employers, blue…

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It's been over a week since Congress allowed the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation scheme to lapse,…

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Much research has documented the vast sums of "missing wealth" stored in tax havens, and detailed…

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Catastrophic deficiencies in the federal response to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to renewed discussion over…

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Common wisdom around central bank independence (CBI) is increasingly a matter of debate. Before the Covid-19…

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Michael Mann's four volume magnum opus, The Sources of Social Power, analyzes the history of human…

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Historically, the expansion of the American frontier symbolized a unity between political liberty and economic growth,…

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Brazil's Bolsa Familia is widely credited with lifting more than 20 million people out of extreme…

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LABOR In her 2007 book, Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt, sociologist…

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As debate and discussion continues over reforms to US policing, attention has been drawn to the…

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As commentators and policymakers have scrambled to find explanations for and responses to the unprecedented uprisings…

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This week has seen policymakers, scholars, and the public debate the meaning of collective violence. While…

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Analyses of variation in state-level responses to the coronavirus tend to focus on party determination: On…

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Among the many corona-induced shocks rippling through the global economy is the crash in remittance payments…

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Covid is changing popular attitudes towards the public sector, prompting many commentators to anticipate a new…

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Following the comparative success of South Korea and Singapore to flatten the Covid-19 curve, governments around…

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It's been a turbulent week for the US Postal Service. With revenues plummeting as mail volume…

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Among the diverse local and national policy responses undertaken to combat the pandemic in recent months,…

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Scholars of the global food system unravel a vast web linking trade policy, public health, economic…

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Comparisons of responses to the Covid-19 crisis across national lines yield as many questions as answers.…

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The need to formulate a unified COVID response has placed pressure on European integration in recent…

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This week, reports swirled regarding President Trump's invocation of the Defense Production Act—a 1950 law passed…

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At present it's difficult to think of much else beyond the fragility of our global economic…

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The correlation between health, income, and wealth is widely recognized in contemporary research and policy circles.…

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Over the past two decades, "evidence-based policy" has come to define the common sense of research…

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Of the various issues mired in severe and ongoing party polarization, climate crisis is among the…

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In an employer-sponsored healthcare system like that of the United States, deteriorating labor market protections have…

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Standard theories of development have been predicated on the goal of an industrialized economy with the…

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Sample size does more than determine the sort of methodology appropriate for a given study; theorists…

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Deindustrialization is a global phenomenon taking place more rapidly in middle- income countries than in high-income…

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Despite contributing towards a series of crises (from the third world debt crisis of the 80s…

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Researchers of policy history have long deliberated over explanatory frameworks: institutionalist accounts tend to focus on…

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Foundational to the discipline of international relations, historian E. H. Carr's path-breaking book Twenty Years' Crisis…

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Thank you for reading the JFI letter this year. As we prepare for another year of…

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The recent boom in identifying and measuring monopsony in labor markets has brought the question of…

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Like many systems of social provision—from housing to pensions—American education has become increasingly financialized. In a…

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In recent decades, policy approaches to housing provision have focused on increasing the incomes of subsidy…

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Major accounts of the role of the state in economic development have held that the state…

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In addition to lagging behind many European economies in the breadth, amount, and quality of welfare…

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Tax reform is at the forefront of contemporary policy debate. US citizens pay taxes at lower…

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Of the many justifications for introducing a universal basic income, automation is among the most popular.…

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As student debt grows and the labor market stagnates, a growing body of research seeks to…

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Breathless media coverage of machine learning tools and their applications often obscures the processes that allow…

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In his 1990 book, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (TWWC), sociologist Gosta Esping-Andersen identified three…

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Recent years have seen a surge in scholarship that critically evaluates the origins and impact of…

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Two weeks ago today marked the passing of the great Immanual Wallerstein. His work has had…

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While the thorny ethical questions dogging the development and implementation of algorithmic decision systems touch on…

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Last week, we considered how social and political standards can pressure climate scientists to under-report their…

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Without any “evidence of fraud, malfeasance or deliberate deception or manipulation,” or any promotion of inaccurate…

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The role of labor (with some notable exceptions) has been relatively marginal in debates over how…

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The emergence of companies like Uber and Taskrabbit has prompted commentators across legal, economic, and policy…

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Technology companies are coming under increased scrutiny for the ethical consequences of their work, and some…

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Many recent policy proposals are variations on European programs implemented throughout the twentieth century. Despite their…

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At the Phenomenal World, we have been publishing pieces covering a wide-range of topics, many of…

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Beyond growing calls for welfare expansion and a more progressive tax system, recent policy debates have…

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Higher education is widely understood to be a major driver of intergenerational mobility in the United…

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How can evidence inform the decisions of policymakers? What value do policymakers ascribe to academic research?…

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In past newsletters, we have highlighted research and policy proposals relating to the Green New Deal…

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Debates over the relevance of indicators like GDP for assessing the health of domestic economies are…

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Debates over the political impacts of Central Bank Independence (CBI) reached their peak in the late…

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Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington State and Democratic presidential candidate, has made climate policy the…

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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the country's largest anti-poverty program. In 2018, over 20…

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Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 permits certain postsecondary institutions to be eligible…

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As economies across Europe and in the United States have become more knowledge-based, urban-centered, and tech-driven,…

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In nearly every major urban center, housing affordability is in crisis. Since the 1960s, median home…

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Current UBI discussions emerged out of concerns over the role of human beings in a machine-dominated…

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The most visible discourse on universal basic income focuses squarely on the labor market. Unconditional cash…

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Public research universities have long been understood as engines of meritocratic social mobility. Relative to other…

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There is renewed debate around the merits of protectionism and free trade, spurred by political rhetoric…

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Research surrounding student debt and the labor market value of postsecondary degrees focuses primarily on students…

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In the digital ethics literature, there's a consistent back-and-forth between attempts at designing algorithmic tools that…

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Household debt has proliferated in the past decade. In the final quarter of 2018, it reached…

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More than a decade after the financial crisis of 2008, median household incomes have stagnated at…

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In recent weeks, a familiar debate over how we understand the global poverty rate across time…

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This week, we delve into the persisting inequalities of our higher education system. Since Winston, Hill,…

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In the ever expanding digital ethics literature, a number of researchers have been advocating a turn…

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A new paper from the Center for Effective Global Action at Berkeley surveys a topic important…

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In a recent newsletter, we noted a spate of reporting drawing attention to the authoritarianism of…

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In a report for the Berkman Klein center, Henry Farrell and Bruce Schneier identify a gap…

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We’re beginning with a report from Evidence in Practice, a project from the Yale School of…

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The JFI Letter has grown and morphed over the past twelve months; thank you to our…

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SCIENTIFIC RETURNS A new book examines the economic and social impacts of R&D Last May, we…

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GREEN INFLUENCE A discussion of different approaches to climate policy Last week, the U.S. government released…

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PLACE-BASED SUBSIDIES | UBERLAND | HISTORY OF QUANTIFICATION STAGNANT INFLUENCE The inefficiency of lobbying A few…

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NEW UBI REPORTS | ELECTORAL VIOLENCE | BEYOND GDP DISCRETION DIFFERENTIAL On the varying modes of…

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FUTURE OF WORK | MEDIEVAL FLOOD INSURANCE | GENDERED EMPLOYMENT POLITICAL TURBULENCE How do we meaningfully…

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EFFICIENT DISPERSION Applying quantitative methods to examine the spread of ideology in judicial opinion In a…

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WHAT IS A FAMILY? Competing definitons of the term have vast policy implications The formal definition…

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CLAIMS THAT CAN'T BE TESTED What policy lessons can we derive from UBI experiments? Political philosopher…

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HARD CAPS Economic growth vs. natural resources A recent Foreign Policy op-ed by JASON HICKEL examines…

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MIDDLE WAGE Questioning the great transition into a "global middle class" Economist STEVE KNAUSS, in a…

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MATERIAL UNDERSTANDING The full resource stack needed for Amazon's Echo to "turn on the lights" In…

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THE JANUS FACE The paradoxical outcomes of university-centered economic growth A recent paper by RICHARD FLORIDA…

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WEALTH BEGETS WEALTH Matt Bruenig's Social Wealth Fund proposal, and responses Last week, MATT BRUENIG of…

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Example table test County, State Participation Rate 2016 Population DeSoto County, Florida 74.0 35800 Hardee County,…

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CONSTRAINED POSSIBILITIES On the relationship between academic economics and public policy In a recent working paper,…

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SPATIAL PARAMETERS On place-based and adaptable public policy A recent report published by BROOKINGS INSTITUTE discusses…

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COMPENSATION TREATMENT In Iran, cash transfers don't reduce labor supply A new study examines the effects…

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ALCHEMIST STOCK Automation, employment, and capital investment At his blog STUMBLING AND MUMBLING, CHRIS DILLOW discusses…

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ENERGY BOOM A new carbon tax proposal and a big new carbon tax research report Representative…

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BANKING AS ART On the history of economists in central banks  A recent paper by FRANÇOIS…

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ALTERNATIVE ACTUARY History of risk assessment, and some proposed alternate methods  A 2002 paper by ERIC…

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DATA IS NONRIVAL Considerations on data sharing and data markets  CHARLES I. JONES and CHRISTOPHER TONETTI…

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EVIDENCE PUZZLES The history and politics of RCTs  ⤷ Guaranteed Income In a 2016 working paper, JUDITH…

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CLIMATE PREDICTION MARKET How to link a carbon tax to climate forecasting A 2011 paper by…

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VISIBLE CONSTRAINT Including protected variables can make algorithmic decision-making more fair  ⤷ Digital Ethics A recent paper…

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ROLL CALL  A new report from Fordham CLIP sheds light on the market for student list…

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Ego

PAVEMENT, NURSING, MISSILES Algorithm Tips, a compilation of "potentially newsworthy algorithms" for journalists and researchers DANIEL…

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ARTIFICIAL INFERENCE Causal reasoning and machine learning  In a recent paper titled "The Seven Pillars of…

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SHOCK-LEVEL-ZERO Jobs guarantees vs. basic income In a characteristically lengthy and thorough post, SCOTT ALEXANDER of…

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EACH POINT ON THE CHAIN Arguments for Value-Added Tax in the US, and using VAT to…

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LABOR-LEISURE TRADE-OFF A new paper on the labor effects of cash transfers SARAH BAIRD, DAVID MCKENZIE,…

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POSTAL OPTION  Renewed interest in an old model  Last week we linked to the widely publicized…

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ONTARIO FOR ALL Canada calculates expanding Ontario's guaranteed income to the entire nation Canada’s Parliamentary Budget…

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NON-ZERO PRICE "Digital goods have created large gains in well-being that are missed by conventional measures…

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METARESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Changes in R & D funding and allocation In a new report on…

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TARGET VARIABLE Big data's effect on the credit-scoring industry A lengthy 2016 article from the Yale…

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URBAN WEALTH FUNDS | OWNERSHIP OF SOVEREIGN WEALTH | FILTER BUBBLE EFFECTS URBAN WEALTH FUNDS Social…

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FAIRNESS IN MACHINE LEARNING | METARESEARCH | MICROSTRUCTURE OF VIOLENCE DISTINCT FUSION Tracking the convergence of…

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STATE SCHOOL RECRUITMENT | JOB GUARANTEE | BLOCKCHAIN DEPENDENCE EXTERIOR State universities' reliance on out-of-state enrollment…

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CRIMINALIZATION OF DEBT | INTERNET CENSORSHIP | EQUALITY BRUTAL ATTACHMENTS A new report on the criminalization…

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IVORY MECHANICS Regional parochialism and the production of knowledge in universities "Scholarly understanding of how universities…

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DEFERRED ACTION On the effects of DACA Last week we linked to a paper that outlines…

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BASIC OPPORTUNITY Considerations on funding UBI in Britain The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of…

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AUTOMATIC PRECISION Translating randomized controlled trials into policy action "A randomized experiment is performed,a statistically significant…

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MASS PRIVACY The inadequacy of individual informed consent This week, an Australian college student noticed how…

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DISCONTINUOUS ADVANCE A flurry of articles in December and January assess the state of artificial intelligence…

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PERVERSE CONSEQUENCES Does banning the box increase hiring discrimination? “Our results support the concern that BTB…

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THE WAGE EFFECT Higher minimum wages and the EITC may reduce recidivism “Using administrative prison release…

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THE YEAR IN ECONOMICS Nominations from top economists, including selections by Raj Chetty, Sendhil Mullainathan, and…

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INCOME SHARE AGREEMENTS Purdue, BFF, the national conversation “Long discussed in college policy and financing circles,…

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HOW TO HANDLE BAD CONTENT Two articles illustrate the state of thought on moderating user-generated content…

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THE FUTURE OF UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION A new report argues that quality, not access, is the pivotal…

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ARTIFICIAL AGENCY AND EXPLANATION The gray box of XAI A recent longform piece in the New…

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PREDICTIVE JUSTICE How to build justice into algorithmic actuarial tools Key notions of fairness contradict each…

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"A DOLL POSSESSED BY A DEMON" Recommender systems power YouTube's controversial kids' videos Familiar cartoon characters…

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FEED FEEDBACK Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci engages with Adam Mosseri, who runs the Facebook News Feed Tufekci:…

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PW Sources is a weekly newsletter of compelling reading across the social sciences. We surface relevant research and writing on issues of politics, economics, finance, history, and more. Each week we highlight research from a graduate student, postdoc, or early-career professor. Send us recommendations: editorial@jainfamilyinstitute.org.