Socialinės nelyginės tyrimai

Šį pusmetį paskelbti poros solidžių socialinės nelygybės tyrimų projektų rezultatai. Harvardo ir Berklio mokslininkų Lygių galimybių projekto, o taip pat Prinstono, Harvardo ir Varviko ekonomistų ir psichologų pažintinių gebėjimų ir skurdo sąryšių.Lygių galimybių projekto pagrindiniai pastebėjimai:
In particular, areas with a smaller middle class had lower rates of upward mobility. In contrast, a high concentration of income in the top 1% was not highly correlated with mobility patterns. Areas in which low income individuals were residentially segregated from middle income individuals were also particularly likely to have low rates of upward mobility. The quality of the K-12 school system also appears to be correlated with mobility: areas with higher test scores (controlling for income levels), lower dropout rates, and higher spending per student in schools had higher rates of upward mobility. In contrast, we found little correlation between measures of access to local higher education and rates of upward mobility.
         Some of the strongest predictors of upward mobility are correlates of social capital and family structure. For instance, high upward mobility areas tended to have higher fractions of religious individuals and fewer children raised by single parents. Each of these correlations remained strong even
after controlling for measures of tax expenditures. Likewise, local tax policies remain correlated with mobility after controlling for these other factors.

Pažintinių gebėjimų ir skurdo sąryšių tyrimo rezultatus pristatančio straipsnio žurnale Science santrauka:
The poor often behave in less capable ways, which can further perpetuate poverty. We hypothesize that poverty directly impedes cognitive function and present two studies that test this hypothesis. First, we experimentally induced thoughts about finances and found that this reduces cognitive performance among poor but not in well-off participants. Second, we examined the cognitive function of farmers over the planting cycle. We found that the same farmer shows diminished cognitive performance before harvest, when poor, as compared with after harvest, when rich. This cannot be explained by differences in time available, nutrition, or work effort. Nor can it be explained with stress: although farmers do show more stress before harvest, that does not account for diminished cognitive performance. Instead, it appears that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity. We suggest that this is because poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks. These data provide a previously unexamined perspective and help explain a spectrum of behaviors among the poor. We discuss some implications for poverty policy.