LEO Faculty Affiliate Melissa Kearney Featured in the News 

Author: Grace Palmer

Dr. Melissa Kearney, Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland and a lead researcher on LEO’s Stay the Course project, recently had her work on effective solutions to poverty and the impact of fatherlessness in families featured in news articles from CNBC and the Maryland Reporter. In the CNBC piece by John Harwood titled, “5 ways to fight wealth inequality, according to economists” Kearney is frequently quoted to support the article’s main point that American capitalism can be strengthened through bolstering human capital, raising wages and returns, altering corporate governance, expanding infrastructure and protecting intellectual property. Kearney offers insights on this argument, such as there only being “so much you could do in terms of making workers more expensive without actually harming the people you’re trying to help.” She also adds potential solutions such as taxing “more from all the folks at the top to spend money making investments in the people who are being left behind.”

In the other article, Richard E. Vatz from the Maryland Reporter writes an opinion piece titled, “Fatherlessness, violence and political cowardice” where Kearney’s research is linked to the focus on fatherless families. While making the point that these fatherless families are connected to more social problems, he details that “Melissa Kearney has stated that poverty, behavior problems, health, quality of life and futures are all almost inexorably negatively affected by living in other than a two-parent family."