Econ 187 - The Economics of Poverty, Inequality, and Discrimination

Professor David Bjerk




Lang, Kevin. (2007). Poverty and Discrimination. Princeton University Press. Princeton , NJ.

Powerpoint Slides and other readings:

Who is Poor? What is Poverty? Kotlowitz "There Are No Children Here"; Lang - Ch 2)

Theory of Labor Demand and Wages (Borjas - Ch 4: 104-112)

Minimum Wages and Other Labor Market Policy (Elliot "Guinea Pigging"; Lang Ch 5: 115-120; Borjas Ch 4: 136-146)

Job Training (Lang Ch 5: 121-133; Schochet, Burghardt, McConnel "Does Job Corps Work? Impact Findings from the National Job Corps Study")

Welfare, the EITC, and Other Gov't Transfer Programs (Lang, Ch 9; Lang, Ch 3)

Impact of Poverty Policy (Fox et al. "Waging War on Poverty: Historical Trends in Poverty Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure")

Life High Poverty Neighborhoods

Teen Motherhood (Lang Ch 6: 161-172)

Screening of "Hoop Dreams"

Intergenerational Issues (Leblanc - Random Family (Chapter 1), *Chetty et al. "Where is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States")

Inequality (Borjas Ch 8: 284-302; *Saez - "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States"; Simon "There Are Now Two Americas")

Taxation (Slemrod - Taxing Ourselves Ch 2; Buffet - "Stop Coddling the Super Rich"; Lowenstein - "The Inequality Conundrum")

Overview of Regression Analysis (Lang Ch 1: 19-28)

Historical Trends in Racial Inequality (Lang Ch 11: 283-293; *Heckman and Donohue - "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks.")

Theories of Discrimination (Lang Ch 10)

Empirically Assessing Discrimination

*Holzer, Raphael, and Stoll."Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and Racial Hiring Practices of Employers"; *Doleac and Stein - "The Visible Hand"

Education (Fryer and Levitt - "The Black-White Test Score Gap through Third Grade"; Lang Ch 6:177 - 190; Belfield et al "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program"; *Hanushek - "Failure of Input-based Schooling Policies"; )

Screening of "Waiting for Superman"

Innovations in Eductaion Policy (Dobbie and Fryer "Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievment Among The Poor?"; Lang Ch 8; Russakoff - "Schooled: Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Mark Zuckerberg had a Plan to Reform Newark's Schools. They Got an Education"; *Angrist, Pathak, and Walters "Explaining Charter School Effectiveness")

Problem Sets:


Additional Materials: