In this episode, we talk with Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Pager studies institutions affecting racial stratification, including education, labor markets, and the criminal justice system. Pager’s recent research has involved a series of field experiments studying discrimination against minorities and ex-offenders in the low-wage labor market. Her book, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago, 2007), investigates the racial and economic consequences of large scale imprisonment for contemporary U.S. labor markets. You can read the study we discuss here.
“It’s a nice blend between experimental methods that are heavily controlled and that isolate a causal mechanism, but it’s an experiment that’s taking place in real world settings. The devil is in the details. Keep in mind that it sounds like a very simple approach, but there are a lot of complexities to carry it out effectively.”
– Devah Pager –