American Sociological Association


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  1. The Intergenerational Elasticity of What? The Case for Redefining the Workhorse Measure of Economic Mobility

    The intergenerational elasticity (IGE) has been assumed to refer to the expectation of children’s income when in fact it pertains to the geometric mean of children’s income. We show that mobility analyses based on the conventional IGE have been widely misinterpreted, are subject to selection bias, and cannot disentangle the different channels for transmitting economic status across generations. The solution to these problems—estimating the IGE of expected income or earnings—returns the field to what it has long meant to estimate.

  2. Life Years Lost to Police Encounters in the United States

    How much life in the United States is lost to encounters with the police? The author builds on a demographic life table model by Edwards, Lee, and Esposito to estimate, for race- and gender-specific populations, how many years of life are lost in two categories of police encounters: (1) encounters involving officer use of force and (2) all deaths involving police encounters. Average life years lost by individuals who are killed ranges from 39 years (white men) to 52 years (Native women).

  3. What Explains Racial/Ethnic Inequality in Job Quality in the Service Sector?

    Precarious work in the United States is defined by economic and temporal dimensions. A large literature documents the extent of low wages and limited fringe benefits, but research has only recently examined the prevalence and consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules. Yet practices such as on-call shifts, last minute cancellations, and insufficient work hours are common in the retail and food-service sectors.

  4. Visualizing the Geographic and Demographic Distribution of COVID-19

    Whereas African Americans are disproportionately among the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic’s sick and dead, less is known about whether some racial/ethnic groups are more likely to be affected in Canada. In this data visualization, the authors address two issues limiting understanding of the spatial and demographic distribution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada: (1) COVID-19 infection and death counts are collected at a very high level of geographic aggregation, and (2) these counts are not tallied by sociodemographic group, including race/ethnicity.

  5. Boxed In: Beliefs about the Compatibility and Likability of Mother-Occupation and Father-Occupation Role Combinations

    Researchers have long noted that role expectations of a “good” mother conflict with those of a “good” worker, described as the “cultural contradiction” of motherhood. But given that work roles vary tremendously in terms of the cultural meanings the public assigns them, the authors examine variability in the perceived compatibility of mother-occupation and father-occupation combinations.

  6. Biracial Identity Development at Historically White and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

    This study explores the relationship between biracial identity development and college context. I draw on interviews with 49 black-white biracial first- and second-year students attending historically black colleges/universities (HBCUs) or historically white colleges/universities (HWCUs) and follow-up interviews with the same students at the end of college to explore how and why their racial identities changed over time.
  7. Health Lifestyles and the Transition to Adulthood

    Prior research has shown the theoretical importance and empirical feasibility of health lifestyles but has not examined their patterns over the life course or their dynamic associations with socioeconomic status (SES) and adult roles. The authors develop and apply a life-course approach to understanding individuals’ health lifestyles across the transition to adulthood, using U.S. data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 6,863).

  8. Learning Inequality in Francophone Africa: School Quality and the Educational Achievement of Rich and Poor Children

    Influential reports about the “learning crisis” in the global South generally pay insufficient attention to social inequalities in learning. In this study, we explore the association between family socioeconomic status and learning outcomes in 10 francophone African countries using data from the Programme for the Analysis of Education Systems, a standardized assessment of pupils’ mathematics and reading competence at the end of primary school. We start by showing that learning outcomes among grade 6 pupils are both poor and highly stratified.

  9. First-Birth Timing and the Motherhood Wage Gap in 140 Occupations

    Is delayed fertility associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in all occupations? Using multilevel models and data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey, O*NET, and the Current Population Survey, I examine whether delayed fertility is associated with a reduced motherhood wage gap in 140 occupations. Delayed childbearing is one strategy women use to mitigate the motherhood wage penalty. Findings indicate that mothers in high-earning professional occupations experienced the largest wage penalties with early motherhood but also the largest premiums with delayed childbearing.

  10. Beyond Net Worth: Racial Differences in Wealth Portfolios and Black–White Health Inequality across the Life Course

    A large body of research links wealth and health, but most previous work focuses on net worth. However, the assets and debts that comprise wealth likely relate to health in different and meaningful ways. Furthermore, racial differences in wealth portfolios may contribute to racial health gaps. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and mixed effects growth curve models, we examined the associations between various wealth components and multiple health outcomes.