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Reading List: The Best Reporting on Children With Post-Traumatic Stress

What happens to children and teenagers exposed to violence in their own neighborhoods.



How to Design an Effective Plea for Donations

Two new studies suggest an image of a single needy child is most effective, so long as you avoid the temptation to go with the most photogenic victims.

Quick Studies


Can Exercise Close the Achievement Gap?

Just 12 minutes of aerobic exercise can boost low-income college students’ academic performance. The effect is large enough to close the achievement gap.

Quick Studies


The Elusive Link Between Poverty and Obesity

A third factor may be a likely catalyst for both.

True Crime


The Dangers of Criminalizing Pregnancy Outcomes

New legislation in Tennessee has implications much wider than the use of illegal drugs by pregnant mothers-to-be.

The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30


The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: The Student of Latin American Politics Who Wants to Understand Inaction

For the month of April we’re profiling the individuals who made our inaugural list of the 30 top thinkers under 30, the young men and women we predict will have a serious impact on the social, political, and economic issues we cover every day here at Pacific Standard.

The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30


The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: The Accomplished Economist Who Wants to Empower Whole Societies

For the month of April we’re profiling the individuals who made our inaugural list of the 30 top thinkers under 30, the young men and women we predict will have a serious impact on the social, political, and economic issues we cover every day here at Pacific Standard.

We Read It


The Heirs of Steinbeck: Who Are the Fiction Writers Taking on Poverty and Inequality Today?

Seventy-five years after its first publication date, The Grapes of Wrath is still a staple in most American classrooms. Is that because we haven’t yet written anything that does a better job of portraying the devastation of not having enough?



Lorde Knows Why Poor People Play the Lottery

On the eve of a monster MegaMillions draw, here’s another explanation of why those who can least afford it play the lottery: It helps them blow off steam.



Nearly Half of All U.S. Schoolchildren Live in Low-Income Households

And things are only getting worse.



How Being Poor Makes You Poor

New research shows how poverty can often be a self-perpetuating trap.

Book Reviews


The Not-So-Great Professor: Jeffrey Sachs’ Incredible Failure to Eradicate Poverty in Africa

Jeffrey Sachs was certain he knew how to rid the world of poverty. He even said it would be easy. The world had other ideas.



Why Are Public Universities Failing Our Neediest Students?

Chasing prestige and battered by state funding cuts, many public colleges and universities with a historic responsibility to provide access to an affordable education have turned to “financial aid leveraging,” offering wealthy or high-scoring students discounts on tuition.



Why Is Zambia So Poor?

This landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa isn’t a failed state in the traditional sense: There’s no dictator, no child soldiers. But most of its 14 million people live on less than $1 per day. How did things get this way, and can they ever get better?



The Demolition of Brewster-Douglass and Our Abandonment of the Working Poor

It’s more than just brick-and-mortar buildings that’s crumbling in Detroit.



London Hosts the Olympics: How Success for People Is a Failure of Place

A living, breathing example of how we misunderstand the inequity of poverty.



The Social Life of Genes

Your DNA is not a blueprint. Day by day, week by week, your genes are in a conversation with your surroundings. Your neighbors, your family, your feelings of loneliness: They don’t just get under your skin, they get into the control rooms of your cells. Inside the new social science of genetics.



Why the Impoverished Need to Move to the Cities With the Highest Housing Prices

On poverty traps and the paradoxes of migration.



Urban Islands of Poverty and Bowling With Strangers

Questioning our understanding of “gentrification” is a necessary first step toward helping people who are stuck in impoverished neighborhoods.



The Problem With Volunteer Tourism

While it might seem like a way for people to spend money and do some good, is it really the best way to enact any meaningful change?



Gentrification Is Not About Race and Class, but Fear of Outsiders

More than anything else, gentrification is about the tension between the mobile and the stuck.



The Rise of the Suburban Poor

Suburban poverty is growing—and fast—but the majority of federal antipoverty resources are earmarked for densely populated urban areas.



Displacing Poverty

Our metrics of urban neighborhood health fail to capture individual success stories, which is why we see South Central Los Angeles, which has a history of successfully encouraging social mobility, as a place with persistent poverty.



Supervised Drug Injection Clinic in Vancouver Finds Success

A counterintuitive approach to addiction in “Canada’s poorest postal code.”



Does Obama’s Ambitious Universal Pre-K Program Stand a Chance?

The long-term benefits of pre-k education are well established, but an opportunity to invest in it for every child in America is caught up in political stalemate.

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Don’t Text and Drive—Especially If You’re Old

A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.