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Center on Socio-Economic Inequalities


Remarks from Janet Gornick, Remembering Tony Atkinson, LIS Board President

Letter from Director Janet Gornick - September 2016

Q&A with Jim Stone - September 2016

The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality—known as the Stone Center—was launched on September 1, 2016. It renames and expands the Graduate Center’s Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Center, which opened its doors at the Graduate Center in 2009.

The mission of the Stone Center is to build and disseminate knowledge related to the causes, nature, and consequences of multiple forms of socio-economic inequality. Although the Stone Center’s associated faculty and students have diverse interests and utilize a range of methods, they share a commitment to scholarship that is quantitative, data-driven, interdisciplinary, and policy-oriented, and that addresses questions that are cross-nationally comparative and/or global in scope.

The Stone Center has four core faculty members, all professors at the CUNY Graduate Center: Janet Gornick (Professor of Political Science and Sociology), Leslie McCall (Presidential Professor of Sociology), Paul Krugman (Distinguished Professor of Economics), and Branko Milanovic (Visiting Presidential Professor). Janet Gornick serves as the Stone Center’s Director and Leslie McCall as its Associate Director.

The Center has four main components:

US Office of LIS

The Stone Center houses the US Office of LIS, which is the partner office to the Luxembourg Office of LIS. The two LIS offices collaborate to carry out the work of LIS, the renowned cross-national data archive. Janet Gornick also directs the US Office of LIS, working closely with Professor Daniele Checchi of the University of Milan, who, since September 2016, directs the Luxembourg Office of LIS. Caroline Batzdorf is Assistant Director of the US Office of LIS.

Public Programming

The Stone Center is home to three lecture series: a student-run series on inequality research, the interdisciplinary Lee Rainwater Memorial Lecture Series (starting in 2017), and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Lecture Series on Wealth Inequality (to be launched in 2017).

The Center works with partners throughout the Graduate Center to design and co-host public lectures and conversations, which take place throughout the year. These events feature eminent scholars, elected officials, policy-makers, business leaders, and activists working on inequality from multiple angles.

The Center also serves as a venue for research conferences. On July 17-19, 2017, the Center will host the next biennial conference of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ). The ECINEQ conference will bring 200-300 scholars to the Graduate Center for a three-day conference on economic inequality.

Teaching and Training

Stone Center faculty teach an array of Graduate Center courses related to inequality; these courses are typically listed or cross-listed in the political science, sociology, and economics programs.

In addition, each June, the Center hosts a one-week intensive workshop on inequality research; the workshop is targeted on PhD students and other young scholars. The third annual workshop will take place on June 5-9, 2017.

Research Programs

Stone Center faculty and students are engaged in research on multiple aspects of inequality; many of these projects operate with external sponsorship.

The Center also hosts a series of Research and Policy Briefs. These briefs are short notes presenting results based on data contained in the Luxembourg Income Study Database and/or the Luxembourg Wealth Study Database. The briefs are authored by faculty and students affiliated with the Center.

The Stone Center team works closely with the Graduate Center’s Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) which hosts a Distinguished Fellows program. Stone Center faculty assist ARC by reviewing applications proposing research projects focused on inequality. Scholars admitted to ARC’s inequality cluster typically build ties, during their time in residence, with faculty and students in the Stone Center.