We work to expand economic opportunity so that everyone has a fair chance to get ahead.

Closing the Gap

The Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) is a center for research and outreach on gender inequality and is co-led by Iris Bohnet, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and academic dean, and Hannah Riley Bowles, Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy. As part of an ongoing project on gender and technology, WAPPP is conducting research and hosting events on how to remove gender bias in the technology sector and level the playing field. Policymakers can also access WAPPP’s online research repository, the Gender Action Portal (GAP), which has helped inform the U.K. Government Equalities Office’s guidelines on how to narrow the gender pay gap.

Increasing Mobility

David Ellwood, faculty director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy and Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy, chaired the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, a project that brought together practitioners and scholars from across the political spectrum and across the country. Its aim was to develop strategies to help “all people achieve a reasonable standard of living with the dignity that comes from having power over their lives and being engaged in and valued by their community.”

The World at Work

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) aims to improve lives across the globe by generating evidence that leads to more effective and sustainable policies. Rema Hanna, EPoD co-director and Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, has studied how financial incentives for teachers may decrease teacher absenteeism and increase students’ test scores. She has also examined ways to reduce severe poverty in Indonesia and the effects of pollution in Mexico City on people’s health and ability to work.

Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies Rema Hanna (not pictured) studied the effectiveness of Indonesia’s cash transfer program using data from about 14,000 households.

Tackling Inequality

The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy’s Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy is a nexus for work on inequality across Harvard. Complex puzzles like inequality benefit from an interdisciplinary approach that generates new insights. Courses at the Kennedy School like “Race, Inequality, and American Democracy,” taught by Khalil Muhammad, professor of history, race, and public policy, address the challenges of inequality. The Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government also features an evolving collection of Harvard research on jobs, inequality, and the prevention of financial crises through its GrowthPolicy.org portal.

Amitabh Chandra (left), Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor, moderated a 2017 Forum conversation on healthcare with guest panelists that included health economists Katherine Baicker and Jonathan Gruber.

Mapping Opportunity

Ricardo Hausmann, Rafik Hariri Professor of Practice of International Political Economy and former director of the Center for International Development, spearheaded the creation of the Atlas of Economic Complexity, a data visualization tool for exploring global trade dynamics over time and discovering new growth opportunities in countries across the world.

Kennedy School faculty, including professor of public policy David Deming, explore how education can play a role in poverty alleviation.

Photos by Martha Stewart and courtesy of EPoD

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