Three Graduate Students Receive Social Policy Awards from Horowitz Foundation


Allison Dunatchik, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in sociology and demography, Priyanka Goonetilleke, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in economics, and Kathleen Hui, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in economics, have all received 2023 grants from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. The $10,000 awards “support the advancement of research and understanding in the major fields of the social sciences.”

Dunatchik’s research interests include gender, work, and family, with a focus on how social policies affect gender inequalities inside and out of the  household. Her current research explores how gender inequality is produced and reproduced within different-sex couples in a context of changing gender norms and changing patterns in family demography.
The grant-funded project is titled “National Family Policies and Gender Gaps in Unemployment Outcomes: A 21-Country Study.” The work will use large-scale longitudinal data from countries in Europe and the United States to “analyze differences in unemployment outcomes between men and women and tests whether work-family policies mitigate these inequalities.” 

Goonetilleke’s focus is empirical microeconomics, focusing on questions at the intersection of law and economics. Research interests include policing behavior, illegal drug markets, and the quantitative impact of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Allison Dunatchik, Priyanka Goonetilleke, and Kathleen Hui
From left: Ph.D. students Allison Dunatchik, Priyanka Goonetilleke, and Kathleen Hui

Goonetilleke received the Donalt R. Cressey Award for the project titled “The Impact of Race on Perceptions of Attorney Credibility.” Desribing the project, Goonetilleke writes: “A growing body of qualitative evidence suggests that bias against minority attorneys causes judges to discount their arguments. My project quantitatively examines the extent to which such bias may affect case outcomes for the clients of minority attorneys.”

Hui studies how individuals respond to health policy and the implications for public health. Her grant-funded project is titled “The Impact of E-cigarette Regulation on Tobacco Consumption, Addiction, and Health.”
She writes: “Cigarettes are the leading cause of preventable death, prematurely taking 480,000 lives per year. E-cigarettes (vapes) entered the U.S. market in 2007, and have since generated much controversy, public debate, and regulation. On the one hand, vapes have the potential to reduce health harms from cigarettes when smokers substitute to vaping. On the other hand, youth may begin vaping, and potentially transition to smoking. This project quantifies the impact of vape regulation on cigarette smoking, addiction, and health to provide policy recommendations that protect public health.”

The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy was established in 1997 to support the advancement of research and understanding in the major fields of the social sciences. Its specific purpose is to provide small grants to aspiring Ph.D. students at the dissertation level to support their research. Click here for a full list of 2023 awardees.

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