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Social and Economic Inequality

sei-icon-100Economic growth and development depend upon all citizens having the opportunity to maximize their potential, whether this is in terms of family formation, career path, or other long-term objective. MPRC researchers study inequalities by race / ethnicity, social class, age, gender, context, and nativity / immigration status in this and other signature themes.

MPRC research in this category is unique in its focus on key institutional contexts. Although population research usually focuses on the individual or family as the unit of analysis, from an ecological perspective, the individual and family are nested in a set of broader institutional contexts. Such institutions include prisons, the criminal justice system, health care systems, family and welfare policy, the labor market, the military, firms, schools, states, or countries as the context for population-related behaviors.

Areas of focus include :

  • Individual and family inequality
  • Schools and colleges
  • Organizations and firms
  • Criminal justice system
  • Military

Examples of current projects in these areas are listed here.


IPUMS - Time Use website launched

IPUMS - Time Use website launched

Hofferth and colleagues help make time use data readily accessible

IPUMS - Time Use website launched - Read More…

Report on Big Data in Survey Research

Report on Big Data in Survey Research

Frauke Kreuter and colleagues debate key methodological issues in Public Opinion Quarterly article

Report on Big Data in Survey Research - Read More…

Developing Nations: "Our Pollution is Your Consumption"

Developing Nations: "Our Pollution is Your Consumption"

MPRC Faculty Associate Klaus Hubacek demonstrates how material consumption in rich countries is fueled by pollution and environmental destruction in the developing world

Developing Nations: "Our Pollution is Your Consumption" - Read More…

Affordable Care for All?

Affordable Care for All?

Faculty associate Jerome Dugan investigates the relationship between socioeconomic status, health insurance coverage, and affordable quality care

Affordable Care for All? - Read More…

Race, Gender, and Obesity: How the Social Environment Constrains or Enables Physical Activity

Race, Gender, and Obesity: How the Social Environment Constrains or Enables Physical Activity

Faculty associate Rashawn Ray investigates the social and environmental changes needed in order to remove neighborhood barriers to regular physical exercise

Race, Gender, and Obesity: How the Social Environment Constrains or Enables Physical Activity - Read More…

Families and Inequality

Families and Inequality

Faculty Associate Philip Cohen brings sociology research to the public eye by tackling thorny issues about race, gender, family, and inequality in an online public forum.

Families and Inequality - Read More…

The Displaced New Orleans Residents Study

The Displaced New Orleans Residents Study

MPRC Director Michael Rendall is working with Faculty Associate Paul Torrens, Geography, to analyze social, economic, and health outcomes for New Orleanians

The Displaced New Orleans Residents Study - Read More…

Institutional Change and the Consequences of Military Service

Institutional Change and the Consequences of Military Service

In a Collaborative Research project funded by the National Science Foundation, Meredith Kleykamp looks at outcomes in marriage, education, employment and earnings among veterans and non-veterans over the last 40 years.

Institutional Change and the Consequences of Military Service - Read More…

Inequality and Teenage "Drop Out" Behaviors

Inequality and Teenage "Drop Out" Behaviors

Melissa Kearney and colleagues examine a hypothetical "desperation" effect on economically disadvantaged students through a grant funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation

Inequality and Teenage "Drop Out" Behaviors - Read More…

Job creation linked to company age, not size

Job creation linked to company age, not size

Faculty Associate John Haltiwanger's paper with two Census Bureau economists challenges conventional wisdom

Job creation linked to company age, not size - Read More…

Exploring the culture of despair

Exploring the culture of despair

Faculty Associate Melissa Kearney and Philip B. Levine find that inequality trumps location in predicting early childbearing out of wedlock

Exploring the culture of despair - Read More…