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Nau's research interests include economic inequality, health policy, demography, organizations, and finance. Nau's current projects focus on disparities in access to health care and payment reform in the health services industry.
"Economic Elites, Investments, and Income Inequality" Social Forces 92 (2013): 437-461.
Argues that the one percent is becoming more reliant on wealth for income rather than work.
"Wealth Transfer Receipt and Later Life Wealth" (with ). Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 30 (2012): 233-245.
Argues that while wealth transfers do provide a significant boost to net worth, the initial advantage does not compound but rather slowly dissipates over time.