Tag: experiments

  • Would more people support foreign aid & charities if they grasped the scale of global inequality?

    This is a guest post by the excellent Aveek Bhattacharya, who (like I did!) combines a PhD in Social Policy in LSE with work in the field of alcohol & public health – and is also cross-posted on his personal blog here. For all the attention that economic inequality has received in recent years, it is […]

  • Learning About Inequality Increases Concern, But Not Necessarily Support for Redistribution

    A puzzle: income inequality between the top 1% and the rest has surged in the last few years, yet support for redistribution among the general public has actually declined (see figure below). Do people not care about inequality, or do they not know the facts? To test this hypothesis, Ilyana Kuziemko recently conducted an online […]

  • Does truth matter?

    If you’re reading this blog, then you’re probably interested in ‘the truth’ – by which I mean that you’re interested in the way the world really is, rather than pretending it’s the way you want it to be. We tend to howl with rage whenever politicians lie to justify injustices, and there’s been a lot […]

  • When social policy goes wrong

    When social policy experts create a new intervention to solve some social problem or make people’s lives better, there’s two possible outcomes they’re expecting: either the intervention works, or it doesn’t. But what we forget is that there’s a third option – that our well-meaning intervention actually makes people’s lives worse. This isn’t just an […]

  • The hidden costs of disability

    How much does a disability cost you? Let’s take the example that (slightly too easily) comes to mind for most people: a disability that means you need a wheelchair to get around – how much of a dent in your wallet is this, compared to an identical life without any mobility limitations? There’s the obvious […]

  • Moving on – a social experiment

    At a time of economic crisis, so the folk wisdom usually goes, any job is better than no job – no matter how badly paid or how poor the prospects. Yet perhaps surprisingly, all the talk in the UK is now about job quality: how do we create the sorts of jobs in Britain that […]

  • New York City Wants to Solve Poverty, Will it Work?

    Anti-poverty successes are celebrated nationally, but how quickly we forget the failures. Does anybody remember the New York City conditional cash transfer program for poor families, Opportunity NYC? The program, which supporters hoped would help to change the behaviors of poor families and curb the transmission of poverty from parents to children, was quietly shelved […]

  • Paying Kids to Be Better Students

    School is often boring, and even the best students are difficult to motivate from time to time. In America’s inner city schools – the kinds of places with metal detectors at the doors and drug dealers lurking on the corners – it has proven especially challenging to engage kids and to create a culture where […]

  • Why evidence-based policy won’t tackle inequalities

    There are some buzzwords that can win an argument all by themselves.  You can’t describe yourself as against ‘fairness’ or ‘freedom’, for instance, or object to ‘social justice’ – however wrong-headedly they’re being used. And for policy-focused researchers, our clinching buzzword of choice is ‘evidence-based policy’. So when I say I’m about to argue that […]

  • Male ego as a cause of the gender pay gap

    It’s the sort of research finding that seems perfectly designed for one of those free newspapers you can pick up in big cities: ‘women shy away from competitive workplaces’.  And it’s partly true – a great new real-life experiment does show large differences in how men and women treat competition at work, and this may […]