Faculty and staff

David T. Ellwood

David T. Ellwood

Director, Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy
Isabelle and Scott Black Professor of Political Economy
Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor


Research interests: Poverty and welfare, economic mobility. Labor economics, family change, low pay and unemployment, changing structure of American families.

Maya Sen

Maya Sen

Director, Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy
Professor of Public Policy


Research interests: Political scientist. Statistical methods, law, political economy, and race and ethnic politics. Issues involving the political economy of race relations, the American legal system, and law and politics.

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen

James Bryant Conant University Professor
Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics


Research interests: Political theorist. Democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America.

Marcella Alsan

Marcella Alsan

Professor of Public Policy


Research interests: Relationship between health and socioeconomic disparities, with an emphasis on infectious disease. 

Desmond Ang

Desmond Ang

Assistant Professor of Public Policy


Research interests: Applied economics. Intersection of race, education and government. Educational and political ramifications of acts of police violence. Effects of federal election oversight on minority turnout and political polarization.

Mary Jo Bane

Mary Jo Bane

Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, Emerita


Research interests: Poverty, welfare, families, and the role of churches in civic life.

Jason Beckfield

Jason Beckfield

Professor of Sociology
Chair of the Department of Sociology


Research interests: Institutional causes and consequences of social inequality. Economic inequality in the European Union. Theoretical and empirical investigation of why societies have such different population health profiles, showing how institutional arrangements (welfare programs, educational expansion, labor markets, and citizenship rights) stratify health. Long-term trends in the development of political economy.

Peter Q. Blair

Peter Q. Blair

Assistant Professor of Education


Research interests: Applied microeconomic theory, including supply-side issues in higher education, the effects of occupational licensing on labor market discrimination, and the link between residential segregation and educational outcomes.

Lawrence D. Bobo

Lawrence D. Bobo

Dean of Social Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences


Research interests: Thw intersection of social inequality, politics, and race.

Bart Bonikowski

Bart Bonikowski

Associate Professor of Sociology


Research interests: Applies insights from cultural sociology to the study of politics in Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on populist claims-making in political discourse and popular identification with the nation in settled times. 

Mary C. Brinton

Mary C. Brinton

Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology
Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies


Research interests: Gender inequality, education, labor markets, economic sociology, Japanese society, and comparative sociology. 

Brinton's research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets and in education.

Michela Carlana

Michela Carlana

Assistant Professor of Public Policy


Research interests: Labor economics. Education, gender, immigration.

Daniel Carpenter

Daniel Carpenter

Allie S. Freed Professor of Government
Director of the Social Sciences, Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study


Research interests: American politics. Development of political institutions, particularly in the United States.  Political economy of public bureaucracies and government regulation, particularly regulation of health and financial products. 

Carpenter has recently launched a long-term project on petitioning in North American political development, examining comparisons and connections to petitioning histories in Europe and elsewhere. Together with colleagues at Harvard, Radcliffe and the Massachusetts Archives, he launched the Digital Archive of Massachusetts Antislavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions in 2015.

Amitabh Chandra

Amitabh Chandra

Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration, HBS


Research interests: Economics and health policy. Innovation and cost-growth in healthcare, medical malpractice, and racial disparities in healthcare.

Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty

William A. Ackman Professor of Economics
Director of the Equality of Opportunity Project


Research Interests: Public Economics. Use of “big data” to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding. Combining empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies, including tax policy and unemployment insurance, education, and affordable housing.