No. of Recommendations: 3

Venkatesh is picking up this kind of unexpected neediness in his research. He has four welfare caseworkers around the city who keep track of the clients who come in to ask about public assistance. “I wanted to understand whether ‘nontraditional’ welfare clients started to file paperwork,” Venkatesh wrote in an e-mail message. “Nontraditional means white, for Manhattan.” In 2005, the caseworkers reported that 5 percent of those who came to their offices were white. This year, the percentage has jumped to 26 percent.


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