Stanford poverty center launches new magazine that focuses on policy debates


Pathways is free and will be published four times a year, containing content that addresses policies that affect the distribution of U.S. economic output.

The Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford has launched a new magazine called Pathways to highlight policy debates about wealth and poverty in America.

Although many popular magazines focus on how to increase economic output, there are far fewer addressing policies affecting the distribution of that output, according to center Director David Grusky. In the introduction to the first issue of Pathways, senior editors Grusky and Chris Wimer write that the magazine is "dedicated to the proposition that there are important policy decisions to be made about the distribution of output, even if we sometimes refuse to see them. As with policymaking on total economic output, there are paths taken and paths not taken, and our job is to foster a discussion of those choices."

The free magazine will be published four times a year and is supported by the Elfenworks Foundation.

The inaugural issue, which was launched both online and in print this week, asked leading U.S. presidential contenders to reflect on how a new "war on poverty" might be fought. The essays are coupled with commentary by scholars about how the politicians' platforms compare, how they fall short, and how poverty and inequality policy might be reworked. The magazine also links such policy debate with reports on the latest research on poverty and inequality, Grusky said.

"It provides new trend data detailing how some types of inequality are taking off, others are declining, and yet others are stable," he said. "It describes which interventions are working and which aren't. And it brings to the public new research that is changing how we understand the sources of and solutions to poverty and inequality." Future issues of Pathways may focus on topics such as health care and poverty, and the rise of new forms of poverty and inequality, Grusky added.

The Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, which was established in 2006 and formally opened last year, seeks to become a "one-stop" interdisciplinary clearinghouse for students, scholars, policy-makers and people interested in recent research and national trend data on poverty and inequality. The center, a program within the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, also publishes a book series on poverty and inequality in collaboration with Stanford University Press, brings postdoctoral and senior scholars to campus, hosts faculty seminars, and is developing a new undergraduate honors program, Grusky said.