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The Verge

The Verge reporter Justine Calma writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that while wind energy has measurably improved air quality, only 32% of those benefits reached low-income communities. “The research shows that to squeeze out the greatest health benefits, wind farms need to intentionally replace coal and gas power plants,” writes Calma. “And to clean up the most polluted places — particularly those with more residents of color and low-income households — those communities need to be in focus when deploying new renewable energy projects.”

HealthDay News

A new study by MIT researchers finds that increased usage of wind power is improving air quality in parts of the U.S., however only a third of the health benefits are being seen in disadvantaged communities, reports Alan Mozes for HealthDay. "Going forward," explains Prof. Noelle Selin, "more targeted policies are needed to reduce the disparities at the same time, for example by directly targeting [fossil fuel] sources that influence certain marginalized communities."

The Hill

Increased usage of wind energy has led to health benefits, but does not affect all communities equally, reports Saul Elbein for The Hill. The researchers found that in order to increase the benefits of wind energy, “the electricity industry would have to spin down the most polluting plants at times of high wind-supply — rather than their most expensive ones,” writes Elbein.

CBS News

Spatial Equity NYC, an online tool developed by MIT researchers and Transportation Alternatives, uses public information to address the racial and economic disparities between neighborhoods in New York City, reports Jenna Deangelis for CBS News. “Our team has focused on fostering data transparency, making open data more accessible, legible and useable,” says research associate Daniela Coray.

Gothamist

Researchers from MIT and Transportation Alternatives have developed an online tool using census information, city health data, and other public information to help understand the correlation between racial and health care disparities in New York City, reports Stephen Nessen for Gothamist. The researchers have found that “the New York City neighborhoods with the worst health and poverty outcomes, also tend to have more injuries from traffic,” writes Nessen.

New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with New York Times reporter Peter Wilson about how climate change can impact global inequality. “The responsibility for the emissions that lead to climate change rests mainly with rich countries and their consumers, but the cost is mainly going to be borne by citizens in poor countries,” says Duflo. 

Vox

MIT and Harvard startup GiveDirectly, “identifies poor people and villages, usually in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and distributes cash to them directly, usually via cellphone payment, instead of donations like food and livestock,” reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.

VoxDev

VoxDev spotlights the work of Prof. Abhijit Banerjee, Prof. Esther Duflo and graduate student Garima Sharma in studying the long-term effects targeted programs have on helping poor households escape the poverty trap. “Using a randomized controlled trial that tracked these households four, seven and ten years after the intervention, the authors find that ten years later, treated households consume about 20% more than control group households and earn about 30% more,” writes VoxDev.

On Point- WBUR

WBUR On Point host Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Prof. Amy Glasmeier about defining poverty in the United States. “There is an ‘everybody has to make it on their own’ attitude and until that changes we’re going to be caught in this bind, but I think people themselves are evolving,” says Glasmeier.

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that a one-time economic boost can help improve a person’s income, mental health and productivity even a decade later, reports Kristin Toussaint for Fast Company. “There is one very common concern, that somehow they will become lazy as a result of getting this opportunity; and if anything, we find the opposite. They work a little harder,” says Professor Abhijit Banerjee. “But most importantly, they’re enterprising.” 

NPR

Prof. Azra Aksamija speaks with NPR’s Scott Simon about her book "Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp," which spotlights the inventions and designs created by Syrian refugees at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “For me, you know, what's so powerful about them is they visualize, on the one hand, this ingenuity of human spirit, yes, and resilience but, on the other hand, really, what is missing because people invent what is not provided,” says Aksamija, “and what is not provided are basic ideas of what constitutes human - essential human needs.”

Fast Company

Speaking at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee underscored the need for “governments need to do better in addressing different needs within their populations, and providing variations of cash relief for different circumstances.”

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”

Axios

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Axios reporter Dave Lawler about how the failure of rich countries to share Covid-19 vaccines and financial assistance will exacerbate global poverty and lead to increased resentment. "Nobody is talking of expanding aid,” says Banerjee. “I think the psychology, unfortunately, in rich countries somehow — even though the U.S. is going to grow faster in this year than it has in modern memory — is that we are in dire straits and we need to keep resources.”

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”