Social inequality, education, gender, family, quantitative and experimental methods. Scholarship focuses on social inequality in access and returns to education. Current research uses large-scale experiments and surveys to examine mechanisms of gender inequality in education and the labor market. Other projects assess public perceptions of responsibility for college costs; gender and economic inequalities among college students; and the gendered division of household chores and childcare.
When most people think about the role that schools play in society, they think about student learning that takes place in classrooms. Although learning is an extremely important function of education, the role that schools play in creating and maintaining inequality often goes overlooked. Students from different socioeconomic backgrounds have access to different schools, and these schools, in turn, are linked to different life chances. I am most interested in understanding why education leads to divergent social and economic opportunities for students. For example, how do characteristics such as gender and social class shape students’ experiences in school? And, later on, how do employers evaluate credentials from students from different sociodemographic groups? I collect much of my own data using methods such as online surveys and experiments, and audit studies that pull together employment decisions from real companies. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.