New to CPRC - Sandra Black

This is a series to introduce CPRC members to a broader community.

January 23, 2020
Portrait of Sandra Black

Discipline/Training Background: Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard, BA from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!)

Department:  Economics and SIPA

Started at Columbia: Fall 2019

What research are you working on currently?

I have a lot of projects going on at the moment, although many of them are at early stages.  A large part of my research agenda has focused on intergenerational mobility, and I have a new project looking at correlations across generations in mortality—our preliminary evidence suggests that these correlations are much lower than correlations across other measures (such as education, income, or wealth), so we are trying to figure out why this might be.

Main collaborators at Columbia? Elsewhere? 

I have a lot of co-authors—almost all of my work is collaborative.  I don’t have any Columbia coauthors yet.  I have worked with some of my coauthors—Paul Devereux at UCD in Ireland and Kjell Salvanes at NHH in Norway—for almost 20 years.  I also have new coauthors—I like working with new people!

What are the policies or areas of policies to which your work is relevant? 

My research focuses on early childhood and the role of parents on children’s outcomes (including intergenerational mobility).  I also have work on education and the role of education policy on student outcomes, as well as research on gender discrimination in the labor market.

What motivated you to research in your specialized subject matter?  

I have always been interested in children and how economics can help inform our understanding of the role of early childhood policy on children’s outcomes.  I often hear about an interesting policy or issue and that gets me thinking about how to be answer the questions we want answered.

Don't be shy; what accomplishment are you most proud of and why? 

There have been a few things of which I was particularly proud.  My first was completing my Ph.D. in economics at Harvard—that was a huge challenge for me, and I am still grateful to my advisors, friends, and family for all they did to help me.  I am proud that I served as a Member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, which was an amazing experience.  And I am very honored to have been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Norwegian School of Economics. 

If people want to learn more about your research, where should they start?

Fun fact about you - 

I love to make jewelry in my free time.