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David B. Grusky is Edward Ames Edmonds Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Professor of Sociology, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, and coeditor of Pathways Magazine. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, corecipient of the 2004 Max Weber Award, founder of the Cornell University Center for the Study of Inequality, and a former Presidential Young Investigator.

His recent books are Inequality in the 21st Century(with Jasmine Hill, 2017), Social Stratification(with Kate Weisshaar, 2014), Occupy the Future (with Douglas McAdam, Robert Reich, and Debra Satz, 2012), The New Gilded Age (with Tamar Kricheli-Katz, 2011), and The Great Recession (with Bruce Western and Chris Wimer, 2011).

David B. Grusky

Professor of Sociology
Director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality

450 Serra Mall, Bldg. 370
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
Telephone: 650-724-6912
Fax: 650-736-9883

His research examines changes in the amount, type, and sources of inequality. Here are some of the research questions that he’s currently taking on:

  • Is the takeoff in income inequality bringing about a historic reduction in opportunity and social mobility? Which types of mobility, if any, are in fact declining? Read more.
  • Why have conventional theories of stratification assumed that, as egalitarianism spreads, the losing groups will simply “go quietly” and accept their fate? Can we develop a new theory of stratification that takes widespread loss – and the populism it engenders – into account? Read more.
  • Can poverty be reduced ... permanently? Do we know enough about the causes of poverty to successfully wage a second war on poverty? Read more.
  • Can the “commodification of opportunity” be reversed? The poor are now doubly disadvantaged: It’s not just that they have less money, but it’s also that money matters more for securing goods, services, and even opportunities. Read more.
  • Why has income inequality increased so spectacularly in the last 40 years? Should the takeoff be attributed to market failure and the ever-increasing rent collected at the top of the income distribution? Read more.
  • Does contemporary inequality take on the big-class form that sociologists have long assumed? Or is most of the structure in contemporary labor markets found at the more detailed occupational level? Read more.
  • Why is gender inequality so intransigent? Are the historic reductions in gender inequality finally stalling out because all the easy gains have been creamed off? Read more.
  • How has the Great Recession affected poverty, mobility, and inequality? Will it have a permanent scarring effect on some groups? Read more.
  • How should poverty, mobility, and inequality be measured in the 21st century? Can we exploit existing administrative data by assembling them into a longitudinal panel? Could we build a new form of poverty analysis that combines qualitative and quantitative approaches? Read more.