This past weekend I took a crash course in the economy and inequality studies. My guide? Pathways Magazine, the brainchild of Stanford University’s Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, and two senior editors – David Grusky and Christopher Wimer (along with an editorial board of scholars from the nation’s top colleges and universities).
Pathways sets out to examine the distribution of economic output. The editors explain in the inaugural issue:
"The United States has an ongoing love affair with magazines about the economy. If supermarket shelves stocked with Business Week, the Economist, Forbes, and Fortune are any guide, there is clearly more interest in how the economy is doing and what policies might generate more (or less) output. But strangely enough there are no popular magazines focused on how that output is distributed. This is surely a puzzle. If we care about the total output, shouldn't we also care about who is getting all that output? Why not a magazine on who's winning, who's losing, and why?"
What Pathways offers readers are bi-partisan ideas and approaches to such topics as health care reform, what the United States can learn from the anti-poverty programs and achievements of other countries, and fighting poverty during an economic downturn, among other topics.
Published quarterly, each issue presents a broad topic and asks smart academics to propose answers, stats, policies and views (in short articles). Brief blurbs on current research are also included. A sampling of topics in the most recent issue:
Flexicurity: Joshua Cohen and Charles Sabel argue that the time has come to build a 21st century labor market modeled on key principles of Denmark's "flexicurity" system.
Pro-Poor Stimulus: Lessons from the Developing World: Martin Ravallion looks to antipoverty programs in developing countries to understand how developed nations like the United States can provide stimulus while reducing long-term poverty.
Combating Poverty by Building Assets: Lessons from Around the World: Ray Boshara describes the key features of asset-building programs throughout the world and examines how the United States can apply them to achieve economic security for the poor.
Northern Exposure: Learning from Canada's Response to Winner-Take-All Inequality: Jacob S. Hacker describes how the United States and Canada have taken two different roads and why the Canadian road provides lessons that the United States might take to heart.
Spotlight On...Growing Power and the Urban Farming Movement: In our new "Spotlight On" feature, we talk with Growing Power's Will and Erika Allen about the potential and future of urban agriculture in combating poverty.
It’s fabulously enlightening, well-written stuff that I’d encourage our readers to check out. You can preview Pathways online here.