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1. The Art of the Dodge (Rogers) Harvard Magazine
2. For Women, Is Home Really So Sweet? Wall Street Journal
3. Off the Beaten Path (Frankel) Foreign Policy
4. Yes, the world would be more peaceful with women in charge (Nye) The Daily Star
The Art of the Dodge
During this year’s presidential campaign, the candidates will face many questions they do not want to answer. In most cases, they will do what politicians usually do: talk about something else.
Every politician dodges questions, but only sometimes are they able to do so without anybody noticing. Recent research by Todd Rogers, a behavioral scientist, social psychologist, and assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, sheds light on the circumstances and techniques that allow politicians to wriggle away from difficult subject matter.
Rogers hoped to determine “under what conditions people are able to get away with dodging a question, and under what conditions listeners can be empowered to help detect when this kind of question-dodging occurs.”
For Women, Is Home Really So Sweet?
… Single women have been buying homes like never before—a development that my father has seen firsthand, given that his bread and butter is real estate. In 1981, six years after the Equal Credit Opportunity Act made it illegal for lenders to discriminate according to sex or marital status, single women represented 11% of all homebuyers. That figure reached a peak of 22% in 2006, although it has dropped a few percentage points since then, due to the economy. Meanwhile, single male homebuyers have held steady around 10%. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, over a three-year period in the early 2000s the value of single women's home purchases added up to more than $550 billion.
Off the Beaten Path
Looking for novel solutions to public policy problems? You could check the high-end think tanks in the U.S. or Britain, maybe research from the Fed, or perhaps Sweden's Central Bank or the elite Sciences Po in Paris.
Then, again, you might want to follow a path truly less traveled. While the world has long been accustomed to looking to the mature industrialized countries for models in economic policy, they don't have a monopoly on good ideas. Smaller, less affluent countries that would ordinarily slip under the radar can serve as laboratories for innovation. Indeed, states that are modest in size, newly independent, far from the influence of the big global players, or emerging from devastating wars (choose one or more) often find it easier to obtain sufficient political consensus to institute radical reforms.
Yes, the world would be more peaceful with women in charge
Would the world be more peaceful if women were in charge? A challenging new book by the Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker says that the answer is “yes.”
In “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” Pinker presents data showing that human violence, while still very much with us today, has been gradually declining. Moreover, he says, “over the long sweep of history, women have been and will be a pacifying force. Traditional war is a man’s game: Tribal women never band together to raid neighboring villages.” As mothers, women have evolutionary incentives to maintain peaceful conditions in which to nurture their offspring and ensure that their genes survive into the next generation.