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Northwestern Professor Receives Labor Economics Book Award

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June 6, 2008 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill --- "Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children" by Greg Duncan, Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, and co-authors Aletha Huston and Thomas Weisner was awarded the Richard A. Lester Prize for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations published in 2007.

Given annually by the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University, the award is presented to the book making the most original and important contribution toward understanding the problems of industrial relations, labor market policies and the evolution of labor markets.

"Higher Ground," published by the Russell Sage Foundation, describes a three-year experimental program in Milwaukee called New Hope as a model for a policy to help people overcome poverty. New Hope combined key supports for participants, including work supports, health insurance and child care. Created in the belief that work should be the best avenue for exiting poverty, New Hope was rigorously evaluated and found successful in many ways. "A decade later there is clear evidence that New Hope reduced poverty and promoted the school achievement and development of children of working, low-income parents," the authors write.

Duncan has devoted his career to researching the impacts of poverty, neighborhood conditions and welfare reform on children's development. Prior to joining the Northwestern University faculty in 1995, he spent 23 years at the University of Michigan working on and ultimately directing the Panel Study of Income Dynamics project.

Duncan is president of the Population Association of America and president elect of the Society for Research in Child Development. He is also the co-author of "For Better and For Worse: Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Children and Families" with Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and has written numerous articles and book chapters.