credit: Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies, Harvard

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Dirk Witteveen

Sociologist of Socio-Economic Inequality

I'm a sociologist of education and labor markets at the University of Oxford and Nuffield College. My research focuses on education (US and Europe), wealth and income inequality, racial and ethnic inequality, immigration, intergenerational social mobility, mental health, and incarceration. I use computational and quantitative methods in my own research, while retaining a broad interest in qualitative methods and social theory. Currently, I teach sociological theory for undergraduates in the Human Sciences and PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) programs, as well as research design and quantitative replication for graduate students in both Sociology and Demography. I also supervise graduate students in Sociology and Social Policy.   

I obtained a PhD in Sociology from the City University of New York (CUNY), the Graduate Center. I held visiting positions at Stockholm University (2015 and 2021) and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University (2022 - 2023). I previously was a Postdoctoral Prize Fellow at Nuffield College, in Oxford. I am currently on the job market.

My latest article concentrates on the effect of undergraduate loan debt on the chances of attaining a master's degree or higher, published in Social Forces. Together with Paul Attewell, I also examine the extent to which college majors operate as "educational closure devices" that boost occupation-level earnings. This article was published in Socio-Economic Review.

Some of my current projects involve the role of social class compositions of workplaces in class and racial earnings inequality, ethnic earnings inequalities in professional soccer, college wealth premia, and the relationship between macro-economic conditions and occupational mobility gaps between immigrants and natives in the early 20th-century.