Smog in Lahore, Pakistan (photo via the New York Times)


Happy Friday from WIP! Here is a collection of what we’ve been reading this week.


Cut, Cut, Cut


Future of Work




“Don’t Be Evil”


The Environment


On Campus


by Trish Ruebottom and Ellen R. Auster

The world is awash with massive intersectional social problems, from devastating hurricanes and tsunamis driven by climate change to the refugee crisis, racism and the rise of white nationalism.

We have a huge need for widespread social change. And this includes all of us changing the way we live if we’re going to truly address any of these issues.

Yet many of us seem content to simply continue on with our lives. We are either actively trying to maintain the status quo or pursuing our own self-interests. And we are only able to see the world from our own perspectives.

How can we shake up ourselves and our neighbours in our everyday lives in order to get everyone involved in creating social change?

The rock concert for social change

Each autumn, tens of thousands of young people get ready to take part in We Day, a series of rock concerts and speaking events designed to inspire social change. This year, the event takes place in Toronto on Sept. 28, in Vancouver on Oct. 18, Ottawa on Nov. 15 and in many other locations across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. throughout the school year.

Rock stars like Kelly Clarkson and Hedley will share the stage with celebrity activists like Mia Farrow and world political leaders such as former secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon.

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Happy Friday! Here is our latest compilation of news and essays we’ve been reading.


The Bail Trap


Cut, Cut, Cut


Gender and Sexuality


Blowing the Whistle


Changing Nature of Work


On Campus


by Steve Coulter

The UK’s vote for Brexit from the European Union last year was a clear response to the economic impact of free movement of labor on economically-deprived regions of otherwise prosperous countries. By far the clearest predictor of a vote to leave the EU was the lack of a university education and presence in low skill, low productivity sectors of the labor market.

When asked by pollsters, the economic ‘threat’ from low wage EU immigrants was cited by Leavers as a prime reason for their vote. The key questions then, are: why were the labor market issues that gave rise to the leave vote allowed to fester; and why were they linked so strongly to EU membership?  

In my recently published study I examine the UK’s skills regime and immigration policies, and suggest that the interaction of these factors produced the economic and political climate responsible for Brexit.

In a nutshell, I argue that the easy availability of cheap, energetic immigrant workers from newer EU members let successive UK governments – and employers – off the hook as regards tackling endemic failures in the UK’s vocational education system. The EU, to a large extent, was the fall-guy for this and bears some responsibility, but we should also look to the organization of the UK’s labor market and skills system.  

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by Francesco Duina

America’s poor have plenty of reasons not to love their country.

By most measures, they face bleak prospects and their government offers them the least support of any other advanced country on earth. Their chances of upward mobility are slim, the gap between their earnings and those of richer Americans continues to grow, and they work exceedingly long hours for very little. They have access to very limited social services and support.

It would be very reasonable for Americans to not love their country – to be resentful, rise up, and demand changes to the social contract of the country.

Instead, America’s poor embrace and idealize their country.

Their patriotism runs deep and exceeds in many cases that of the poor in other advanced countries and that of richer Americans. It not only entails a love of country but a belief in its superiority and greatness. America, they feel, is a better nation than most.

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It is Friday once again, which means it is time for our latest collection of the things we’ve been reading and watching this week. Happy Friday!


Gender & Family

When Work Disappears


At Work

On Campus


by Jessica Looze

Changing jobs during one’s early career has become increasingly common, and is often a way for young workers to secure higher pay, better benefits, or greater opportunities. For those who are unable to enjoy the benefits of early career job mobility, these missed opportunities may contribute to a lifetime of lower earnings and other disadvantages. An individual’s ability to change jobs is often dependent upon a number of factors, one important one being motherhood – as bearing and raising young children often has important influences on women’s career decisions.

In a recent study published in Social Science Research, I consider how motherhood shapes women’s decisions to either stay with their current employer or pursue another job. I use panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to examine how both pregnancy and young children influence women’s job changes and employment exits. I distinguish among three reasons for leaving a job: family-related reasons, non-family voluntary reasons, and involuntary reasons (such as being laid off or fired). In this post, I highlight findings on the effects of motherhood on non-family voluntary job changes, as these are the types of changes that most often lead to wage growth.

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