Monday, April 2, 2018

Douglas Downey, Ohio State University, Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS)

Fifty Years since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship between Schools and Inequality

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

In the half century since the 1966 Coleman Report, scholars have yet to develop a consensus regarding the relationship between schools and inequality. The Coleman Report suggested that schools play little role in generating achievement gaps, but social scientists have identified many ways in which schools provide better learning environments to advantaged children compared to disadvantaged children. As a result, a critical perspective that views schools as engines of inequality dominates contemporary sociology of education. However, an important body of empirical research challenges this critical view. To reconcile the field’s main ideas with this new evidence, we propose a refraction framework, a perspective on schools and inequality guided by the assumption that schools may shape inequalities along different dimensions in different ways. From this more balanced perspective, schools might indeed reproduce or exacerbate some inequalities, but they also might compensate for others—socioeconomic disparities in cognitive skills in particular. We conclude by discussing how the mostly critical perspective on schools and inequality is costly to the field of sociology of education.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Jens Jungblut, SCANCOR Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University

Boundary organizations between the state, market and multiple professions – Comparing organizational design and governance of university medical schools and their affiliated hospitals

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

University medical schools and their affiliated hospitals are key components of modern research universities. On the one hand, through training medical doctors they offer a societally very important education which is also one of the most expensive ones. On the other hand, university medical schools are research intensive environments and recipients of a large percentage of research funding especially given today’s prominence of life science research. In addition to these two core tasks that come out of the higher education sector, university medical schools and their affiliated hospitals also deliver medical care, a task which comes from their inclusion in the healthcare sector. Thus, university medical schools and their hospitals are organizations that are linked to two organizational fields as well as two parts of the public sector, each with its own traditions, cultures, regulations, and professions making them boundary organizations.

The paper and the presentation will present and discuss the conceptual framework as well as the data collection strategies and tools for an ongoing research project that studies the organizational design and governance in boundary organizations. In this, the project focuses on the formal structure and responsibilities as well as actual governance practices. The project will investigate two key aspects of organizational governance: 1) internal as well as external accountability structures, and 2) human resources procedures for professionals and senior management. Moreover, it will address the competing pressures from the state, the market and professions when analyzing institutional complexity.

Monday, April 16, 2018

David Suárez, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington

Community Foundations as Advocates: Institutional Change in the Philanthropic Sector

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Foundations are much more than disinterested philanthropic institutions that award grants to service-providing nonprofits. Foundations are political actors that seek to produce social change, not only by donating resources to nonprofits that promote causes but also by supporting policy reform in a more direct manner. We investigate engagement in advocacy among community foundations in the United States, which we define as the effort to influence public policy by proposing or endorsing ideas and by mobilizing stakeholders for social change. Drawing primarily on organizational sociology, we posit that the environmental context in which community foundations are situated and particular structural characteristics or operational features of community foundations (institutional logics, identity and embeddedness, and managerialism) will be associated with advocacy. We utilize machine learning techniques to establish an outcome measure of advocacy discourse on community foundation websites and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to model that outcome with a cross-sectional dataset compiled from multiple sources. We find considerable support for our conceptual frame, and we conclude by offering an agenda for future research on foundations as interest groups. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

David Frank, University of California Irvine, Department of Sociology

The University as Cultural Base for a Global Knowledge Society

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

The expansion of the university is encompassing, transforming every aspect of the institution and anchoring the rise of a global knowledge society.  This piece examines the curricular growth that follows from globalization and liberalization over the last half century. Globalization opens great new cultural terrains to academic scrutiny. Liberalization launches an empowered agent of cultural inquiry. Enormous changes to the curriculum ensue – in expanded scale, but also in broadened content.  Very recent developments, involving worldwide reactions to globalization and liberalization, may increasingly render the preceding period as unique.

Monday, April 30, 2018

David Westbrook, University at Buffalo, School of Law

Thinking about the University after Globalization

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Academic life, both teaching and research, was long done in the context of certain understandings of "the University".  Although instantiations of the construct inevitably varied from place to place and over the years, the idea of the University demonstrated remarkable power and coherence for generations.  Following Lyotard and especially Readings, at least in the modern era (let's date "modern" from Kant's Conflict of the Faculties but much room for discussion) such understandings were intimately bound up with notions of education as the propagation of national culture and by extension politics, specifically the politics of the republican if hardly egalitarian nation state.  For a variety of reasons for which "globalization" serves as shorthand, such notions are no longer credible.  Perhaps a new day has dawned.  At any rate, the University of Culture, centered on the professor as the bearer of a tradition, has effectively been replaced by the University of Excellence, centered on the administrator, obsessed with rankings or, more crudely, brand.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Dario Pozzoli, Economics Department, Copenhagen Business School

Coordination of Hours within the Firm

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Hours constraints set by firms have been proposed as an important friction that regulates labor supply responses to tax changes. Yet, little evidence exists on the source of these constraints or the magnitude of their effects. In this paper we use new data on hours worked at the firm-level in Denmark to explore one mechanism that leads firms to constrain hours: the need for coordination of hours among coworkers. We first document evidence of positive correlations between wages, productivity and the degree of hours coordination - measured as the dispersion of hours - within firms. We then estimate labor supply elasticities using changes to the personal income tax schedule in 2010, which affected high-wage earners differently. We find evidence of higher labor supply elasticity in firms with lower hours coordination. Furthermore, we find evidence of substantial spillover effects on hours worked by coworkers not directly affected by the reform. These findings have important implications for the evaluation of the efficiency costs of a tax reform.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Eric Bettinger, Stanford University, Graduate School of Education

Increasing Perseverance in Math: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Norway

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Research by psychologists and economists demonstrates that many non-cognitive skills are malleable in both children and adolescents, but we have limited knowledge on what schools can do to foster these skills. In a field experiment requiring real effort, we investigate how schools can increase students’ perseverance in math by shaping students’ beliefs in their abilities to learn, a concept referred to by psychologists as “mindset.” Using protocols adapted from psychology, we experimentally manipulate students’ beliefs in their ability to learn. Three weeks after our treatment, we find persistent treatment effects on students’ perseverance and academic performance in math. When investigating subsamples, we find that it students who prior to the experiment had less of a belief in their ability to learn generate the treatment effect. The findings suggest that a low-cost intervention focused on students’ mindset can improve students’ engagement and performance.   

Monday, May 21, 2018

Karen Mundy, Chief Technical Officer - Global Partnership for Education Professor, OISE University of Toronto (on leave)
-jointly sponsored by the Graduate School of Education, Ed Initiative, and FSI-

Building a New Global Achitecture for Education and SDG4: The Role of the Global Partnership for Education


Time and Location: *12:00-1:30 PM*, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

Education lies at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals - and is a fundamental pillar for achieving individual empowerment and stronger, more sustainable societies.  Yet the global community continues to under invest in education - particular in low income countries and those countries affected by conflict and fragility. In this presentation, Dr. Karen Mundy, Chief Technical Officer of the Global Partnership for Education and former president of the Comparative and International Education Society, takes a look at the education challenge and some of the institutional innovations in the global architecture that have been launched to fill the gap in education financing. She also provides an overview of the Global Partnership for Education and its evolution, arguing for its important role in reaching SDG 4.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Marion Fourcade, UC Berkeley, Department of Sociology

Faust in the digital era

Time and Location: 3:00-4:30 PM, CERAS Building, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford CA 94305 (Room 123)

The modern digital economy is built upon an implicit Faustian bargain: companies provide online services for free, and individuals "pay" them back by signing intrusive terms of service that provide access to their personal data. The data is then refined and recombined to sort individuals into marketing niches, skill sets, rankings and reputations, and more. It is used for price discrimination, product differentiation, and the distribution of financial and symbolic rewards and penalties. The device, in turn, produces its own new moral standards, intuitions and hierarchies: it becomes a source of morality of its own, an anchor to our sense of worth—yet one that was entirely crafted for economic purposes: in short, an ‘economic morality’. This presentation will provide an overview of these new sorting processes, and of their existing and potential consequences for how we think about inequality in today's society.