Co-taught by Professors Kenneth Shepsle and Jeffry Frieden, the Research Workshop in Political Economy (Government 3007) is a year-long graduate seminar that aims to encourage cross-disciplinary research and excellence in graduate training. Political economy is a research tradition that explores how institutions affect political and economic outcomes. The workshop emphasizes the development of dissertation proposals and is a place where graduate students can present their research to an audience of committed and informed peers. It is open to graduate students in the Departments of Government and Economics, and the Program in Political Economy and Government. The workshop holds both internal and public seminars and meetings. At the internal meetings, approximately twelve per semester, graduate students and faculty present their own work to one another. At the public meetings, up to two per semester, leading scholars are invited to Harvard to present their work. Although the workshop is by invitation only, affiliates of the Weatherhead Center are encouraged to attend the public meetings.
Katharina Werner will present her paper "Misperceptions of educational inequality and public policy preferences - Evidence form a representative survey experiment" (with Ludger Woessmann and Philipp Lergetporer). Valentin Bolotnyy will be the discussant.
Fernando Yu will present his paper.
Abstract for "Misperceptions of educational inequality and public policy preferences - Evidence form a representative survey experiment" (with Ludger Woessmann and Philipp Lergetporer)
Educational inequality is a central determinant of societal inequality. This study examines how the German public misconceives the inequality of educational opportunity and how resolving these misconceptions by providing information affects policy preferences. We find that the public severely underestimates the extent to which socioeconomic background is related to children’s educational performance. Providing a random treatment group with correct information on this relationship has a large effect on the public’s awareness of the problem but only slightly shifts preferences towards several policies which may reduce educational inequality. We show that the small treatment effects cannot be rationalized by respondents’ failure to connect educational inequality with these policies. Instead, the lack of treatment effects is likely due to high support for many reforms in the control group, which also indicates political leeway for equity-enhancing policies.