Equitable Growth grants awarded in economics, sociology

Two UC Berkeley professors will be researching issues involving economic inequality and family structure, and whether where students from across the income ladder attend college affects their economic standing, thanks to new grants from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Alexander Hamiltons

Two Berkeley professors have received grants to explore income inequality from vantage points of college access and family structure. (iStock image.)

Daniel Schneider, an assistant professor of sociology, will spend the next year and a half exploring if rising inequality and economic insecurity are causing family insecurity and changing family structure, particularly childbirth outside of marriage, or if it works the other way around. Schneider’s work focuses on social demography, inequality and the family.

Meanwhile, in the Department of Economics, assistant professor Danny Yagan will research equal access to top colleges and universities and whether the college attendance process may retard economic mobility when qualified low-income students aren’t admitted to schools that offer the most opportunity.

The Center for Equitable Growth said Yagan will use “gold-standard, restricted-access tax data” to determine which colleges are improving the economic standing of students from all income levels.

Berkeley is already home to a “research cluster” of professors from various academic disciplines who study different facets of economic disparities. The group is chaired by Hilary Hoynes, an economist at the Goldman School of Public Policy. It is part of the campus’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.