Quincy Thomas Stewart
Associate Professor of Sociology
As a social demographer, Quincy Thomas Stewart is interested in the dynamic processes that create inequalities in socioeconomic status, health, and mortality. He has published on quantitative methods for studying inequality and estimating mortality, as well as on racial and ethnic disparities in socioeconomic status, health, and mortality.
Stewart’s current work includes analyzing theories of racial inequality using agent-based models, examining the role of disease prevalence in mortality outcomes, and studying racial disparities in a range of outcomes including attitudes, socioeconomic status, and health. He will be part of IPR’s research programs in Social Disparities and Health and Poverty, Race, and Inequality.
In 2006, Stewart was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. Before joining Northwestern, he was a faculty member in sociology at Indiana University.
Big Bad Racists, Subtle Prejudice, and Minority Victims: An Agent-Based Model of the Dynamics of Racial Inequality. How many racists does it take to maintain racial inequality? Historical evidence from the Jim Crow era suggests a society needs a large number of racist advocates in various social arenas, but more recent research cites a significant decline in racist beliefs that have not been paralleled by declines in racial inequality. Stewart examines this discrepancy using an agent-based model of a Nash bargaining game, with results revealing that one needs an enormous amount of discrimination to create and maintain racial inequality. However, when nondiscriminating agents (i.e., non-racists) are allowed to use the race of competitors in decision making via social learning, the need for discriminatory agents in maintaining inequality is reduced to nil.
Labeling Death: The Link Between Race, Hypertension Prevalence, and Hypertension-Related Death in the United States. Racial disparities in hypertension embody one mechanism leading to the excess mortality among blacks. Stewart and his colleague examine the link between racial disparities in hypertension prevalence and disparities in diagnosing—or labeling—deaths as hypertension-related. The results show that blacks are two times more likely than whites to have their deaths labeled as hypertension across the adult lifecourse and suggest either statistical discrimination in cause-of-death diagnoses or a gross underdiagnosis of hypertension in life.
Black Death: Persistent Disparities in Changing Times. Racial mortality disparities are significant across much of the lifecourse. Countless studies have aimed to reveal the factors responsible for these disparities and related policy means to alleviate them. Stewart examines the history of racial disparities in age-specific mortality since Jim Crow and analyzes the role of underlying causes in producing these disparities. His results indicate that the age-pattern of mortality disparities is quite robust across time—even when we include fixed effects for year or cohort—and that changes and/or differences in the distribution of underlying causes across time are modestly related to mortality disparities over the 70-year period.
Articles and Book Chapters
Stewart, Q., and T. Zuberi. Forthcoming. Are the poor getting poorer? On race and impoverishment, 1959 to 1989. Critical Demography.
Stewart, Q. 2011. The cause-deleted index: Estimating the role of underlying causes in mortality. Mathematical Population Studies 18(4): 234–57.
Stewart, Q., and A. Sewell. 2011. Quantitative methods for analyzing categorical inequality. In Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods, ed. J. Stanfield. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Left Coast Press.
Stewart, Q., and J. Dixon. 2010. Is it race, immigrant status or both? An analysis of wage disparities among men in the United States. International Migration Review 44(1): 173–201.
Stewart, Q. 2009. The shape of inequality: Racial disparities in age-specific mortality. Biodemography and Social Biology 54(2): 152–82.
Stewart, Q. 2008. Swimming upstream: Theory and methodology in race research. In White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology, ed. T. Zuberi and E. Bonilla-Silva. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.
Stewart, Q., and R. Ray. 2007. Hurricane Katrina and the race flood: Interactive lessons for quantitative research on race. Race, Gender & Class 14(1-2): 38–59.
Stewart, Q. 2006. Reinvigorating relative deprivation: A new measure for a classic concept. Social Science Research 35(3): 779–802.