Monica Prasad

Professor of Sociology | IPR Fellow


Monica Prasad's areas of interest are economic sociology, comparative historical sociology, and political sociology. Her book The Politics of Free Markets (University of Chicago Press, 2006) won the 2007 Barrington Moore Award from the American Sociological Assocation's (ASA) section on comparative and historical sociology. Prasad has also published an edited volume on the sociology of taxation, co-edited with Isaac Martin and Ajay Mehrotra, called The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Her most recent book is The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty (Harvard University Press, 2012), which has received six awards from three scholarly associations, including the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association.

Prasad is the recipient of several awards including a Fulbright (pdf), a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (pdf), and fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Current Research

Comparative Political Economy. Prasad's most recent book The Land of Too Much develops a demand-side theory of comparative political economy to explain the surprisingly large role of the state in the United States, its origins in the 19th-century revolution in agricultural productivity, and its consequences for undermining a European-style welfare state and leaving U.S. economic growth dependent on "mortgage Keynesianism."

She is currently researching a book manuscript on the Reagan-era tax cut of 1981 (see the related journal article below) and conducting research on corruption in collaboration with several faculty and graduate students.

Selected Publications


Prasad, M. 2012. The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty. Harvard University Press. Winner of the 2013 American Sociological Association (ASA) Award for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award from the Political Sociology section; the ASA’s 2013 Barrington Moore Award from the Comparative and Historical Sociology section; and the ASA’s 2013 Viviana Zelizer Award from the Economic Sociology section.

Martin, I., A. Mehrotra, and M. Prasad, eds. 2009. The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective. Cambridge University Press.

Prasad, M. 2006. The Politics of Free Markets: The Rise of Neoliberal Economic Policies in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States. University of Chicago Press.

Journal Articles

Prasad, M. 2017. Deadly deficits. Contexts 16(1): 22–23.

Prasad, M. 2012. The popular origins of neoliberalism in the Reagan tax cut of 1981. Journal of Policy History 24(3): 351–83.

Prasad, M., and S. Munch. 2012 State-level renewable electricity policies and reductions in carbon emissions. Energy Policy 45: 237–42.

Prasad, M., and Y. Deng. 2009. Taxation and the worlds of welfare. Socio-Economic Review 7(3): 431–57.

Prasad, M., with K. Morgan. 2009. The origins of tax systems: A French-American comparison. American Journal of Sociology 14(5): 1350–94.

Prasad, M. 2005. Why is France so French? Culture, institutions, and neoliberalism, 1974–81. American Journal of Sociology 111(2): 357–407.