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Tag Archives: children

Poverty and equality of opportunity: three pictures to motivate policy for social mobility

Read my comments presented to the Public Economics Forum on “Intergenerationally Disadvantaged: Newest Evidence and What it Means for Policy,” organized by the Melbourne Institute for Applied Economic and Social Research, on November 26th, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. Social mobility varies across countries, but it varies in a particular way, a way that I argue is relevant for the conduct of public policy. Inequality begets inequality. Up to 50% of income inequality is passed on to...

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More Pregnancy, Less Crime

When it comes to crime, economists focus on deterrence. Deterrence works but it’s not the only thing that works. Simple things like better street lighting can reduce crime as can high-quality early education or psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy. The sociological literature has emphasized that crime is about preferences as well as constraints. Life-events or turning points such as marriage and childbirth, for example, can greatly change crime preferences....

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Equality of opportunity is a choice

Tony Atkinson, the great British economist, encourages us to think of inequality as a choice, something that can be influenced by public policy. If this is the case for equality of outcomes, then it is surely also so for equality of opportunity; the significant differences in social mobility between the rich countries hinting at the role governments play in determining the degree to which family background is destiny, the rich raising the next generation of rich adults, the poor...

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The changing nature of work calls for enhancing the human and financial capital of children in less wealthy families

The Canadian federal government should enhance the human and financial capital of children in less wealthy families, enhance market incomes of lower paid workers, and enhance the security of working incomes by adapting three existing programs to new realities: widening their scope, making them more flexible, and making them easier to obtain. The changing world of work is also a changing world of pay, a world that will likely lean toward greater wage rate inequalities, lower or...

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The career cost of children: career and fertility trade-offs

Women are often paid less than men, they are often underrepresented in leading positions, and their careers develop at a slower pace than those of men.  In this paper, we ask to what extent these differences can be explained by childbearing. To evaluate the career cost associated with having children, we consider women’s decisions regarding labor supply, occupation, fertility and savings throughout the life-cycle. We evaluate the life-cycle career cost of children to be...

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The Caledon Institute of Social Policy is Canadian social policy

To understand the development of Canadian social policy during the last 25 years, you must appreciate the role of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, which closed it doors on November 30th, 2017. The Maytree Foundation hosted a conference celebrating the Institute’s accomplishments, and paying tribute to the vision and energy of its principles: Michael Mendelson, Sherri Torjman, and its founder Ken Battle (whose engagement in social policy advocacy began under the pseudonym...

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The Canada Child Benefit is an important innovation in cash benefits to families with children

The Canada Child Benefit offers a policy option that the United States should consider in pursuing a goal to reduce child poverty by half. The commitment to address child poverty has waxed and waned in Canada since an all-party resolution was passed in the House of Commons in late 1989 committing the federal government to “seek to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.” Poverty and social policy are now high on the agenda of the current federal government, which...

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How much social mobility for America? More, but it won’t happen without inclusive growth

Tags Amerian Enterprise Institute, American Dream, rags to riches, social mobility, The US Labor Market How much social mobility for America? More, but it won’t happen without inclusive growth October 24, 2016 Shania Twain, the legendary country-pop music star, personifies the “rags to riches” mobility at the core of the American Dream, and what’s so amazing she’s not even American. (Click image to read her bio.) A common way to think about...

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