International Money Fund: Are the tradeoffs fair and acceptable when it comes to population health?

Photo of International Monetary Fund lettering on side of building

A study published in World Development by three researchers affiliated with the Harvard Pop Center (former Bell Fellow Adel Daoud, faculty member S V Subramanian, and the 2017 recipient of the Sissela Bok Ethics and Population Research Prize Anders Herlitz, reviews already existing policy-evaluation studies, finding that International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies “on balance show that IMF policies, in their pursuit of macroeconomic improvement, frequently produce adverse effects on children’s…

Reframing “environmental harms” to include more than just pollutants and toxins to effectively address reproductive health inequities

Head shot of Brittney Butler

Harvard Bell Fellow Brittney Butler, PhD, has co-authored a review in the journal Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports that examines the literature from the last five years focused on “the built and social environment factors and maternal pregnancy complications among racially marginalized women.” Their findings point to a scant number of existing studies—after excluding the ones that focused on environmental toxins—and they make the case for why an environmental justice framework is…

The Harvard Gazette reports: “Women mostly stayed in workforce as pandemic unfolded, defying forecasts”

Claudia Goldin standing in front of Abstract Art

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Claudia Goldin, PhD, has authored a working paper titled “Understanding the Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women” that reveals that the stresses experienced by certain women (depending on education, occupation, and race) during the pandemic had more to do with the fact that they stayed employed while also educating their children and/or taking care of their aging parents as opposed to losing their jobs. Learn…

A cross-national look at the health impacts of perceived healthcare discrimination in the rapidly aging populations of the U.S. and Brazil

Bell Fellows Angela Dixon and Leslie Adams

As populations continue to grow and live longer, their reliance on healthcare systems to help them prevent and treat the illnesses and disabilities associated with aging will also continue to grow. In order to support healthy aging within a society, it is imperative that barriers to healthcare access are minimized. Perceived healthcare discrimination is one such barrier that is worthy of deeper exploration, and now recent Harvard Bell Fellows Angela…

Honing in on small geographic areas within districts in India yields large differences

Indian mother holding baby

Estimating health indicators, such as birth weight and size, is typically calculated at the district level in India, a practice that fails to capture the inequalities that may exist between smaller geographic areas, such as villages. A team of researchers affiliated with the India Policy Insights project have published a study that takes a novel look at low birth weight (LBW) and low birth size (LBS) across these smaller geographical…

Better than average… study applies complex variance modelling to more accurately assess treatment effects of the Head Start program

Road sign that says "average"

When assessing the effectiveness of a large-scale, federally funded program such as Head Start—a program designed to better prepare children ages 3-5 from low-income families for school—it is limited to only look at the Average Treatment Effect given the “considerable systematic heterogeneity within population between individuals.” This study applies complex variance modelling, an extension of multilevel modelling, to capture the variance, as well as the mean, in order to shed…

Brittney Butler pens op-ed: “Black mothers die at higher rates. Florida’s ‘Stop WOKE Act’ could make that worse”

Head shot of Brittney Butler

Harvard Bell Fellow Brittney Butler, PhD, who also holds a joint appointment as an FXB Health and Human Rights Research Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has penned an op-ed published in the Miami Herald in which she sounds the alarm about the potential damaging effects of the “Stop WOKE Act” (House Bill 7, or HB 7) to Black families in Florida. The bill is sitting…

“Who Goes on Disability when Times are Tough? The Role of Work Norms among Immigrants”

Head shot of Delia Furtado

Visiting Scientist Delia Furtado, PhD, has co-authored a paper published in European Economic Review that examines who (in this case, immigrants in the U.S.) is likely to go on disability in response to worsening economic conditions. Findings suggest that the work norms in a person’s home country play a notable role.

First-ever dashboard displaying life expectancies on the U.S. Congressional District level

Dashboard showing life expectancy by U. S. Congressional District

Despite persistent health disparities in the United States, health data on the Congressional District level continues to be meager. “As our nation transitions towards recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing health disparities, it is imperative for politically relevant public health data to be available in a clear and direct manner,” said Dr. S.V. Subramanian, Harvard Pop Center faculty member and one of the leading researchers at the Geographic Insights…

Study of aging population in South Africa finds that HIV viral suppression through ART is leveling the field of healthy longevity

HAALSI men and women

Findings by HAALSI researchers published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity, a special issue of conference abstracts, point to similar levels of increased lifespan and “healthspan” among those HIV-positive individuals who achieved viral suppression through ART as observed among HIV-negative individuals.