Event Date and Time
2309 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building


Is it possible to run a viable society even as U.S. income inequality moves into altogether uncharted territory?  The purpose of this talk is to show that, although the worriers are sometimes criticized as “Chicken Little” alarmists, in fact rising inequality has powerful effects on the amount of social mobility and opportunity in the United States.  Because these effects are easy to describe and see, they could in principle provide support for a populist reaction against income inequality.


About the Speaker

David B. Grusky is Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, and coeditor of Pathways Magazine.  His research addresses the changing structure of late industrial inequality and addresses such topics as (a) the role of rent-seeking  and market failure in explaining the takeoff in income inequality, (b) the amount of economic and social mobility in the US and other high-inequality countries (with particular focus on the “Great Gatsby”  hypothesis that opportunities for social mobility are declining), (c) the role of essentialism in explaining the persistence of extreme gender inequality, (d) the forces behind recent changes in the amount of face-to-face and online cross-class contact, and (e) the putative decline of big social classes . He is also involved in projects to improve the country’s infrastructure for monitoring poverty, inequality, and mobility by exploiting administrative and other forms of “big data” more aggressively. His recent books include Social Stratification (2014), Occupy the Future (2013), The New Gilded Age (2012), The Great Recession (2011), The Inequality Reader(2011), and The Inequality Puzzle (2010).


Reception will begin immediately following the lecture in the Atrium in front of the Art Library in the Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building

David Grusky headshot