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Michael Fitzgerald

Michael Fitzgerald
Michael Fitzgerald is an associate editor at Pacific Standard. He has previously worked at The New Republic and Oxford American Magazine.

Recent posts

Five Studies


The Kids Will Be All Right, Even Without the Nuclear Family

Gay, straight, single, divorced: Five studies that prove that the who of family matters a lot less than the how when it comes to raising happy, healthy kids.



‘The Atlantic’ Is Wrong About Married Parents Producing Richer Kids

Sure, kids with married parents appear to have better outcomes by some measures. But a narrow reading of the data ignores strong evidence about the viability of alternative family structures.



Seeking a Better Measure of Inequality, 50 Years After ‘I Have a Dream’

Severe inequities remain between whites and non-whites in American economic life. But it isn’t clear that employers are as much to blame as one might expect.



How Parents Shape Their Kids’ Risk Tolerance

A new working paper outlines how mom and dad can influence their child’s levels of risk tolerance and trust, traits that have a significant impact on career outcome.



Selling Products for a Cause Might Hurt Corporations’ Bottom Line

Companies that market products as a way for consumers to improve the world through their purchases not only appear to give less than we expect, but they might actually be hurting their own sales.



Are We Really Getting Sicker as We Age?

Even though we’re living longer than ever, the prevalence of major diseases among the elderly has held relatively steady.



Not Happy? That’s Predictable

A new study shows that a number of factors influence unhappiness levels, while happiness isn’t so clear cut.



Why Don’t More Americans Have Bank Accounts? And Should They?

If you’ve ever bounced a check, you could be blacklisted.



How to Ease Inequality on the Cheap

The Obama Administration wants to make daycare universal for four-year-olds. But more basic short-term support for poor families with babies could greatly increase the child’s future earnings.



Embracing the Economics of Happiness

Vermont tries out an alternative to GDP for gauging society’s progress.



What Makes a Healthy Family

The Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage prompted much discussion about what kind of parents—gay, straight, single, married—can raise kids the best. It’s time to discard the hoary notion that any one structure produces the best outcomes for child development.



5 Things You Should Know About Yesterday’s Big Health Care Announcement

A controversial piece of Obamacare is being delayed for a year. But what does that mean for you and your employer?



Voters, Not Lobbyists, Deserve Blame for Our Crappy Farm Policies

A new working paper by two Duke economic policy researchers takes a close look at what influences lawmakers’ farm policy votes.



Las Vegas Is a Great Place to Get Away With a Non-Lethal Shooting

Why are shootings with a surviving victim so under-investigated in Sin City, and chronically overlooked in the post-Newtown national gun policy debate?



News Outlets Show Significant Bias in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

The public is in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, but not by a margin of five to one, which is how a new Pew study weighs coverage during Supreme Court hearings for two landmark cases.



Sarah Gets Her Lung

It’s unclear what it means for the future, but the 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl is set to receive a lung transplant today.



Sarah Versus the Data

When a child is deemed suitable for an adult organ transplant, why are they put at the end of the donation line?



The Complicated Fears of an Infectious Future

Should we fast-track approval for new antibiotics meant to target superbugs? An alarmist New York Times article would have you think so.



Are Babies Healthier in North Korea or Northeast Ohio?

Depending on the neighborhood, maybe North Korea.



The Deluge Continues

Innovative drilling techniques, as explored in our March/April print issue, are remaking the geopolitical map in unpredictable ways.


How Etsy Got Over Middle-School-Cafeteria Syndrome

In the year after declaring diversity one of their core values, Etsy watched their female engineers drop to four out of 85.



Can a Test Tell If You’re a Good Entrepreneur?

How psychometrics are helping loan officers weed out the bad risks from the good.


Fiscal Cliff Round-Up

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Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder, Your Friends Like You

The first study of friends' perceptions suggest they know something's off with their pals but like them just the same.

Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.

How Old Brains Learn New Tricks

A new study shows that the neural plasticity needed for learning doesn't vanish as we age—it just moves.

Ethnic Diversity Deflates Market Bubbles

But it's not in the rainbow and sing-along way you'd hope for. We just don't trust outsiders' judgments.

Online Brain Exercises Are Probably Useless

Even under the guidance of a specialist trainer, computer-based brain exercises have only modest benefits, a new analysis shows.

The Big One

One company, Comcast, will control up to 40 percent of Internet service coverage in the U.S., and 19 of the top 20 cable markets, if a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is approved by regulators. November/December 2014

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