William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs; Director, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing; Director, Joint Degree Program in Social Policy
265 Wallace Hall
“I am interested in how families shape children's life chances and the extent to which family structure and stability are both a cause and a consequence of income inequality and racial and ethnic disparities. We now know that cognitive and socio-emotional skills developed in early childhood have lasting consequences for adult wellbeing. We also know that no institution is more important than the family for developing these skills.
“Yet family patterns have changed dramatically during the past several decades in ways that have widened the gap between children born to parents with high school degrees and children born to parents with college degrees. Specifically, whereas college-educated parents are delaying childbearing and forming stable marriages, parents with only high school degrees are increasingly having children before they have established a stable union.
“To learn more about the processes underlying the growing disparities in family formation, my colleagues and I have been following a birth cohort of approximately 5,000 parents and their children born between 1998 and 2000. Our study of Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing has led to more than 300 papers on topics ranging from childhood obesity to fathers’ incarceration and immigrant families.”
For more information about the study and the findings, go to http://www.fragilefamilies.princeton.edu/
Assistant Professor of Politics and Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
“My research focuses on the causes and consequences of ethnic diversity in advanced democracies. In my book 'Immigration and Conflict in Europe' (Cambridge University Press, 2010), I explain when and why we witness variation in confrontations between immigrants and natives and in conflict between immigrants and state actors across countries, cities, and immigrant groups in Europe over the past half century.
“I have also conducted research on the political consequences of immigrant naturalization across Europe; on the political preferences and voting behaviors of immigrant groups; on the determinants of political representation of Muslims in the U.K,; on attitudes about immigration, and on hate crime. At Princeton, I have taught courses on immigration, ethnic conflict and research design.”
Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs; Associate Dean, Woodrow Wilson School
“My most recent book, 'Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches,' considers the consequences of growing income inequality for political participation and public opinion. Wealth disparity, immigration and other social forces have created a pattern of give and take, back and forth causality. Polarization and income inequality fell in tandem from 1913 to 1957, then rose together dramatically from 1977 onward. Republicans moved right, away from redistributive policies that would reduce income inequality.
“At the same time, immigration facilitated the move to the right: Non-citizens, representing an increasingly larger share of the population and disproportionately poor, cannot vote; thus, there is less political pressure from the bottom for redistribution than there is from the top against it. In the choreography of American politics, inequality feeds directly into political polarization, and polarization, in turn, creates policies that further increase inequality.”
Professor of Politics; Public Affairs Director, Research Program in Political Economy
306 Robertson Hall
Thomas Romer’s research explores the interaction of the market and nonmarket forces that influence the allocation of economic resources. He taught at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Western Ontario; has been a visiting scholar at the Federal Trade Commission, Stanford University and the Institute for Advanced Study; and has been a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. His work on the politics and economics of local governments’ taxation and spending behaviors was awarded the Duncan Black Prize of the Public Choice Society. Other work has dealt with land-use regulations, campaign finance, the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s and the political economy of redistribution. His current projects focus on the political economy of federalism. He has served on the advisory panels of the National Science Foundation and on the editorial boards of the American Economic Review and Public Choice. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University.
Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology
“Our lab explores how power and competition create biases against out-groups. We work on research that includes a variety of levels: neural patterns, interpersonal interactions, societal stereotypes and cultural comparisons. For example, we have studied how stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination are encouraged or discouraged by social relationships such as cooperation, competition and status.
“People easily categorize others, especially based on race, gender and age. Going beyond categorical prejudices—to learn about the individual person—requires motivation. Social relationships supply one form of motivation to individuate, and our work shows that being on the same team or depending on another person helps people go beyond stereotypes.
“Conversely, people in power are less motivated to go beyond their stereotypes. Our laboratory examines how a variety of relationships affect people forming impressions of others. Society's cultural stereotypes and prejudices also depend on relationships of power and interdependence. Group status and competition affect how groups are disliked and disrespected.
“From survey evidence, we analyze the content of group stereotypes based on race, gender, age, disability and income, the micro building blocks of institutional inequality.”
Betsy Levy Paluck
Associate Professor of Psychology
Two basic ideas motivate my research. The first idea is that social psychological theory offers potentially useful tools for changing society in constructive ways. The second idea is that studying attempts to change society is one of the most fruitful ways to develop and assess social psychological theory. Much of my work has focused on prejudice and conflict reduction, using large-scale field experiments to test theoretically driven interventions.
Through field experiments in Central and Horn of Africa and in the United States, I have examined the impact of mass media and interpersonal communication on tolerant and cooperative behaviors. I find support for a behavioral change model based on social norms and group influence. To change behavior, I suggest, it may be more fruitful to target citizens' perceptions of typical and desirable behaviors (i.e. social norms) than their knowledge or beliefs. How do social norms and behaviors shift in real world settings? Some initial suggestions from this research include peer or role model endorsement, narrative communication, and group discussion. My work in post-conflict countries has led to related research on political cultural change and on civic education. I am also interested in social scientific methodology-particularly causal inference and behavioral measurement.
Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School; Director, Center for Health and Wellbeing
Janet Currie also directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She has served on several National Academy of Sciences panels, including the Committee on Population and was elected vice president of the American Economics Association in 2010. She has served as a consultant for the National Health Interview Survey and the National Longitudinal Surveys and on the advisory board of the National Children’s Study. She is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, an affiliate of the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center and an affiliate of IZA in Bonn. She is the editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and a member of the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and she has also served several other journals in an editorial capacity including the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics and the Journal of Public Economics.
Her research focuses on the health and wellbeing of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing and food and nutrition programs. Much of this research is summarized in "The Invisible Safety Net: Protecting the Nation’s Poor Children and Families" (Princeton University Press, 2008). Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health and on environmental threats to children’s health from sources such as toxic pollutants.