Weekend reading: “Brown v. Board of Education” edition
This is a weekly post we publish on Fridays with links to articles that touch on economic inequality and growth. The first section is a round-up of what Equitable Growth published this week and the second is the work we’re highlighting from elsewhere. We won’t be the first to share these articles, but we hope by taking a look back at the whole week, we can put them in context.
Equitable Growth round-up
Following up on Mother’s Day, Equitable Growth Senior Policy Analyst Alix Gould-Werth wrote a blog post this weekend outlining changes in the social policies that support parenthood in the United States. She builds on this history to suggest directions for contemporary pro-family policies (including affordable, high-quality childcare and paid leave for all parents) that are based on recent economic and other social scientific research.
Equitable Growth Director of Markets and Competition Policy Michael Kades responded to the House Judiciary Committee’s passing of four bills to address the market-bending actions that drug manufacturers take to reduce competition. Having testified on three of these pieces of legislation, Michael provides some key insights into how and why they will help reduce skyrocketing pharmaceutical drug prices.
Equitable Growth Policy Director Alyssa Fisher summarized some of the key findings of Equitable Growth’s joint book with the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution titled “Recession Ready: Fiscal Policies to Stabilize the American Economy.” In the book, economists and other scholars in Equitable Growth’s network explain how policymakers can reduce the harms of recessions by proactively crafting and investing in policies such as unemployment insurance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, automatic infrastructure funding, and direct payments to individuals to boost consumer demand during downturns.
In his weekly “Worthy Reads” column, University of California, Berkeley economist and Equitable Growth columnist Brad Delong highlighted recent research and writing in economics from Equitable Growth and other economists. This week, Brad provides some additional thoughts on Alyssa’s, Michael’s, and Alix’s blogs summarized above while also pointing to Equitable Growth grantee Samir Sonti’s work on the politics of inflation from the 1930s and 1980s as well as recent work on artificial intelligence and the internet of the future.
To close out the week, Equitable Growth Executive Director Heather Boushey wrote a column in memory of economist and founding CBO Director Alice Rivlin. On top of being a pioneer for women in the field of economics, Heather argues that Dr. Rivlin was one of our country’s most effective leaders as well as a model of committed, compassionate, hard-headed public service.
Links from around the web
P.R. Lockhart of Vox notes that today marks the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision but reviews the findings of a recent report demonstrating startlingly high levels of income- and race-based segregation across the country today. Among other findings, the report by scholars Erica Frankenberg, Jongyeon Ee, Jennifer B. Ayscue, and Gary Orfield documents that the share of severely racially isolated schools that enroll 90-100 percent non-white students has more than tripled since 1988, the peak of school integration. [vox]
Berkeley economist Rucker Johnson wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post discussing some of the findings of his recently-published book “Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works.” He finds clear empirical evidence that the early wave of school integration had undeniable benefits for black students’ long-term educational, labor market, and other economic outcomes. Furthermore, he argues that the most effective strategy to improve our public schools must include school integration, school funding equalization, and early childhood expansion. [wapo]
Andrew Ujifusa in Education Week compares some recent legislative proposals to combat pervasive segregation with the demands of pro-integration advocates. While the bills introduced in Congress importantly address federal incentives and funding for school districts, emboldened civil rights enforcement, and diversity-conscious student assignment plans, Ujifusa points out these proposals fail to incorporate proposals to combat exclusionary zoning, to require federal pre-clearance for school district secessions, to recalibrate Title I funding for schools with low-income students to encourage integration, and to set diversity standards for charter schools. [edweek]
In the New York Daily News, Shino Tanikawa and Leonie Haimson discuss how school integration can be strengthened via lower class sizes. Citing evidence from the United States and Finland, they argue that smaller class sizes wouldn’t just open up possibilities for integration, but would also improve the relationships between teachers and students and thus the quality of public-school teaching. [nydn]
Figure is from Equitable Growth’s, “Can school finance reforms improve student achievement?”