Inequalities in Social Policy

Professor: McEachin
Units: 1.0
Elective Course
Concentration: Social and Behavioral Science

This course focuses on persistent inequalities in housing, education, and the labor market. The course draws on interdisciplinary work from history, sociology, and economics. We start with Richard Rothstein’s Color of Law, a historical analysis of restrictive housing policies and practices of the early-to-late 1970s. He argues many of the current socioeconomic inequalities (e.g., wealth gaps, school segregation, and crime) are linked to these restrictive policies.

The course builds on this foundational book to spend a few weeks on empirical studies of inequalities in housing, education, and labor markets from sociology and economics. The goal of the empirical readings is to expose students to a number of theories that are useful to understand the causes and consequences of social inequalities. In the final few weeks of the course we cover recent policy initiatives intended to mitigate inequities in these arenas.