In addition to completing the requirements for a degree in their ‘home’ departments, JDP students must:
- Complete 1.5 years of course work, including the year-long course on “Issues in Inequality and Social Policy” followed by the one-semester “Advanced Empirical Workshop.”
- Complete an empirical paper for the “Advanced Empirical Workshop.” (Students may count one of their home department papers toward this requirement)
- Complete a general exam in social inequality or social policy (This requirement applies to sociology and population studies students only; students may count one of their home department exams toward this requirement)
- Participate in the Monday lecture series on “Dilemmas in Inequality” held each fall.
Issues in Inequality and Social Policy – Year 1
The seminar on "Issues in Inequality and Social Policy " is divided into four segments. The first segment (WWS 590a) focuses on how economists approach the study of inequality, starting with issues of conceptualization and measurement, and then moving toward the empirical study of inequality with respect to development, labor markets and wage inequality, family formation, and migration. This course also considers the causes and consequences of inequality for growth and economic development.
The second segment (WWS 590b) is led by social psychologists, decision theorists and behavioral scientists concerned with the micro building blocks of inequality, including the study of decision making under conditions of uncertainty, prejudice, and intergroup conflict. This will take us to the end of the first semester.
The third section (WWS 590c) begins in the Spring semester and focuses on sociological and demographic perspectives on inequality. Core sociological concepts and theories are discussed in the context of the major institutions of stratification: family, schools, neighborhoods, labor markets, and the criminal justice system.
The fourth and final segment (WWS 590d) draws on American and comparative politics, considering formal and empirical models of political inequality, including preferences for redistribution, the role of unions and interest groups in setting the terms of debate, and the distribution of power in states that fundamentally impacts the nature of inequality.
Clearly, students reading within their home field will already be familiar with the perspectives and methods under discussion; for them, the value of the reading/discussion will lie in digging more deeply into the particulars of the research in question and thinking about where the field needs to go to extend our understanding of the problem. For students reading outside their home field the task will be both to understand the methods and theories at work and to consider points of intersection and debate across disciplinary perspectives.
Advanced Empirical Workshop– Year 2
In the fall term following the completion of "Issues in Inequality and Social Policy," JDP students and Economics fellows will enroll in the “Advanced Empirical Workshop” (WWS590s). The primary purpose of this course is to enable students to hone their own research papers into contributions appropriate for the top disciplinary journals and other high visibility venues. Toward this end, preparation for the seminar will begin in the prior spring, when each student chooses the topic of his/her paper (typically written in conjunction with the empirical paper requirement of the student’s home discipline), completes a draft by “Dean’s Date,” and identifies leading scholars outside of the Princeton community whose comments on the work would be of greatest value. These scholars are then invited to the campus during the following fall term to give a lecture and to participate as guests in the Advanced Empirical Workshop. The seminar will focus on the student papers and will feature written comments from each of the student as well as the guest scholar. Armed with comments from colleagues, instructors, and visitors, each student will revise his/her paper and send it out for review. When these steps are complete, the student will have met the workshop requirement, having completed an original paper of high quality and having contributed weekly memos for the benefit of fellow students.