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The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy’s faculty, staff, research fellows, and students are committed to achieving a deeper understanding of the barriers we face to greater equality and access to opportunities for all. Through rigorous research, quantitative and qualitative in nature, we offer policy solutions that have the potential to reduce or eliminate barriers and improve people’s lives. 


Three years after the murder of George Floyd: Researching movements against police violence

Ahead of a fall convening on global anti-police violence movements, the Malcolm Wiener Center shares Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management articles and recordings on the topics of police violence and racial justice from the past three years.

How apprenticeships might create new opportunities for students and employers

In the U.S., apprenticeships are often associated with particular industries like the building trades. But in parts of Europe, apprenticeships are common in many other industries as part of a high school education. In a new HKS video, the Project on Workforce discusses recent research determining whether apprenticeship programs could help students and employers in the American labor market.


In her Q&A, Malcolm Wiener Center Director Sandra Susan Smith discusses the importance of qualitative research for addressing social policy questions, common misconceptions about qualitative work, and why she started a grant program at the Malcolm Wiener Center to support this type of research.


We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 Malcolm Wiener Center Qualitative Research Grants, a research initiative launched by Sandra Susan Smith that offers grants to faculty and students to support the development of qualitative research projects about social policy.



The new College-to-Jobs Initiative from the Project on Workforce includes a first-of-its-kind data tool that compares regional college and employment trends, as well as a research-practice playbook that examines programs designed to connect college students to good jobs.

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Examining Inequity with Marcella Alsan

On the New England Journal of Medicine's "Not Otherwise Specified" podcast, Marcella Alsan speaks with host Lisa Rosenbaum about her career path and her studies on medical mistrust, racial concordance between physicians and patients, and their effects on deeply entrenched health inequities. 

A young woman serves glasses of water in a restaurant.

Why Are Young Workers Leaving Their Jobs?

A new report from Daniel Schneider and the Shift Project finds that while more than half of 18-to-25-year-olds in the service sector left their jobs during the pandemic and the "great resignation," the overwhelming majority did so to find better pay and less precarious working conditions.

A man's face is set against a blue background.

New Video: We Were Too Optimistic About Globalization

Workers without college degrees are being left behind and solving this problem will require new ways of thinking. To address this, Gordon Hanson says policymakers will have to consider approaches that were once thought too economically intrusive. Hanson is the co-director of Reimagining the Economy.

People at a job fair

HKS Faculty Tackling Extreme Economic Inequality

A new HKS Magazine article on inequality research at HKS features a number of Malcolm Wiener Center faculty and programs, including Gordon Hanson and the Reimagining the Economy project; the Stone ProgramDavid Deming and the Project on Workforce; and Daniel Schneider and the Shift Project.

Programs and Initiatives

The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management draws from rigorous research as well as insights from practitioners and people from impacted communities to inform the development of fairer and more just criminal legal system policies, practices, and procedures.

The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Program in Wealth Distribution, Inequality and Social Policy unites faculty, students, and researchers from across Harvard University and beyond to address the causes and consequences of wealth inequalities in different populations around the world.

The Project on Workforce is an interdisciplinary, collaborative project with Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education charting the course for a post-secondary system of the future that creates more and better pathways to economic mobility.

The Shift Project, a joint project at Harvard Kennedy School and UCSF, examines the nature and consequences of precarious employment in the service sector with a focus on how policymakers and firms can improve job quality.

The Reimagining the Economy project explores local labor market, industrial, and development policies, combined with practitioner insights, to produce multidisciplinary scholarship to reshape narratives about how we achieve inclusive prosperity.

Explore all of the programs, projects, and initiatives at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.


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