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Poverty, Race, and Inequality

The issues of inequality, poverty, and racism are consistent threads woven throughout IPR faculty research—and have constituted major research themes from the day the Institute first opened its doors. To examine these pernicious problems, faculty researchers cast a wide net, tackling a variety of topics that shed light on gaps in race, socioeconomic status, opportunity, and housing.

A Message From James Rosenbaum, Program Chair

James Rosenbaum

In the program on Race, Poverty, and Inequality, IPR researchers look at various causes of poverty, racism, and inequality and their consequences in the United States, as well as in developing countries around the world. Topics cut across race, education, social status, and more. The researchers’ examinations often overlap with other IPR programs, such as Urban Policy, Social Disparities and Health, and Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies.

Working Papers

Recently published articles and working papers in this program area include:

Gaia Dossi, David Figlio, Paola Giuliano, and Paola Sapienza . 2021. The Family Origin of the Math Gender Gap is a White Affluent Phenomenon (WP-21-01).

Marika Cabral, Bokyung Kim, Maya Rossin-Slater, Molly Schnell, and Hannes Schwandt. 2020. Trauma at School: The Impacts of Shootings on Students’ Human Capital and Economic Outcomes (WP-20-58).

Sophie Trawalter, Nana-Bilkisu Habib, and James Druckman. 2020. Racial Bias in Perceptions of Disease and Policy (WP-20-57).

All Papers

Faculty Experts

Faculty come from the fields of economics, sociology, communication, African American studies, education and social policy, and others.

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When Democracy Exaggerates Difference

Monica Prasad, Professor of Sociology, WCAS Board of Visitors Professor, and IPR Fellow 


Policy Study: Do Some Countries Discriminate More than Others? Evidence from 97 Field Experiments of Racial Discrimination in Hiring

A recent meta-analysis on hiring discrimination by IPR sociologist Lincoln Quillian and his colleagues finds pervasive evidence of it against all non-white groups in all nine countries they examined. Yet some countries discriminate more than others—and certain laws and institutional practices might explain why.

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