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Center on Socio-Economic Inequalities


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 renamed and expanded 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 six core faculty members, all professors at the CUNY Graduate Center: Janet Gornick, Leslie McCall, Paul Krugman, Branko Milanovic, Salvatore Morelli, and Miles Corak. 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 seminar series on inequality research, the interdisciplinary Lee Rainwater Memorial Lecture Series, and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Lecture Series on Wealth Inequality.

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. The Center hosted the Seventh Meeting of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ) on July 17-19, 2017. The ECINEQ conference brought more than 250 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, since 2015, each June, the Center has hosted a one-week intensive workshop on inequality research; the workshop is targeted on PhD students and other young scholars. 

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 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.