Dirk Witteveen

Postdoctoral Prize Fellow in Sociology at Nuffield College, University of Oxford

contact: dirk.witteveen@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

PhD. Sociology. 2018

City University of New York (CUNY)

MA. Sociology of Education. 2011

New York University

BA. Sociology. 2008

University of Amsterdam


I study mechanisms of inequality, mobility, and stratification in education, the labor market, and the penal system. My work contributes to debates about educational policy, social policy, and judiciary policy. I mainly focus on explaining the stark variation and inequities in populations’ socioeconomic well-being, such as employment chances, household income, job earnings, college graduation, and life expectancy. I am most interested in answering questions about how individual-level events and macro-economic conditions or shocks shape the directions life courses. My work is focused on race, ethnicity, class, gender, and their intersections. For example:

  • Does class background still matter for one's post-college labor market destination in modern-day society?
  • What is the effect of incarceration on premature death risk and does it vary by race or ethnicity?
  • Are U.S. and European youths more or less inclined to attend higher education during a recession?
  • Is the longer pathway from a community college to a four-year institution equally beneficial for college graduates?
  • Which interactions between social demographics and education pathway matter for understanding student loan debt?
  • To what extent do children of immigrants experience an ethnic penalty in a recessionary labor market?
  • How did the COVID-19 economic crash impact income/job loss and, consequently, induce mental health symptoms?

In answering these questions I draw on empirical data from both North America and Europe – in a comparative fashion where possible. I use a range of quantitative methods (from descriptive to computational), while retaining a strong interest in theoretical debates and qualitative research in my fields of study.

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Prize Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. I obtained my PhD in Sociology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). I'm currently on the job market. This website contains information about past and current projects on this website, as well as some of my teaching materials and a blog-style dissemination of research.