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Research Team

Julia Behrman, Principal Investigator

Julia Behrman, Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Fellow Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University

View her IPR expert biography.

Behrman’s research investigates the causes and consequences of family change in a global perspective. Her research explores how the institution of the family shapes and is shaped by key social phenomena in four main areas:

  • Educational expansion
  • Environmental change, natural disaster and climate shocks
  • Increasing women’s labor force participation
  • Migration

Much of her work is motivated by questions of power: Who has power within families and how is it manifested? What events or experiences lead to changes in power dynamics within families? Do changes in family structures alleviate or perpetuate disadvantage between and within families?  


Abigail Weitzman, Co-Principal Investigator

Abigail Weitzman, Co-Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Research Affiliate Population Research Center and the Long Institute for Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin

View her biography.

Weitzman’s research examines two interrelated questions binding social psychology and demography:

  • How do expectations and desires influence the timing and nature of important events in people’s lives, cumulatively shaping demographic patterns and population health?
  • How do shifting demographic circumstances influence desires, expectations, and behaviors in ways that determine individuals' health outcomes and trajectories?


Research Support

Michael White

Michael White

Robert E. Turner Distinguished Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Initiative in Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, Brown University

View his profile on Brown University's website.