Campus & Community

CBRSS, HMS welcome Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars

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The Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences (CBRSS) and the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School (HMS) have announced the arrival of four new visiting scholars, as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program. This two-year postdoctoral fellowship program is for new Ph.D.s in economics, political science, and sociology.

The program is co-directed by Nicholas Christakis, professor of medical sociology; Gary King, David Florence Professor of Government; and Joseph Newhouse, John D. Macarthur Professor of Health Policy and Management, and director of the Division of Health Policy Research and Education at the School of Public Health.

Scholars in Health Policy Research are as follows:

Jason Barabas (Ph.D. in political science, Northwestern University) was a postdoc fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University before joining the faculty at Southern Illinois University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Public Opinion Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, and in edited volumes from Oxford University Press and Routledge. As a Johnson Foundation Scholar, Barabas will study how citizens learn about health issues from the mass media, as well as public opinion toward the privatization of health care and retirement in America.

Wendy Cadge completed her Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton University in 2002, and is currently an assistant professor of sociology at Bowdoin College. Her research focuses on religion and religious pluralism, gender and sexuality, and immigration in the contemporary United States. She is the author of “Heartwood: the First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America” (University of Chicago Press, 2004). Her current research examines the intersections between individuals’ religious beliefs and health care decisions.

Joshua Guetzkow received his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. His dissertation focuses on the changing relationship between social welfare and criminal justice policy in the United States over the past 40 years. He recently co-published a study in the American Sociological Review on the definition(s) and significance of originality in the social sciences and humanities. His research interests include the role of ideas in policy-making, modalities of the governance of social marginality, and economic inequality. As a Johnson Foundation Scholar, Guetzkow will launch a research project on the intersection of psychological knowledge and the law, with an emphasis on the growing use of the criminal justice system to manage public mental health problems.

Cynthia Perry received her Ph.D. in economics in 2004 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her primary fields of interest are labor and public economics, while her dissertation included work on the response of total fertility to changing labor market opportunities for women, and the response of elderly living arrangements to changes in social security benefit payments. Perry’s current research interests include examining the link between a woman’s financial dependence and her propensity to suffer from domestic violence. She also plans to study whether children of parents who suffer from depression experience externalities from their parents’ treatment.