Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Sarah Elwood Discusses Approaches to Addressing Poverty

Posted: 11/28/2017 (CSDE in the News)

Affiliate Sarah Elwood, Professor of Geography, was quoted last week in a Yes! Magazine article on the science behind reducing inequality. In the article, Elwood discusses how big data is changing the way social scientists and activists approach poverty-related work. “We’re seeing more of these sorts of practices that sort of try to get at the behaviors of individual people and try to get them to do something different,” she said. Elwood also addresses nudge policies, which she believes are capable of influencing individual behavior to drive change, but not of fixing the structural issues that contribute to poverty. “It’s important to differentiate between questions of inequality and questions of impoverishment. You can change the degree of inequality in a society without having acted to change the big processes of impoverishment.” The full article is accessible below.

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