Profile picture for user manduca.robert

Robert Manduca

PhD Candidate in Sociology and Social Policy, Harvard University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN, Chicagoland SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • Economy
  • Public Health

Connect with Robert

About Robert

Robert's research focuses on urban and regional economic development-why it is that some cities and regions prosper while others stagnate, and what that means for their residents. In a second line of research he studies how economic inequality affects US society. 


How Economic Inequality Perpetuates U.S. Racial Gaps


"Income Inequality and the Persistence of Racial Economic Disparities" Sociological Science 5 (2018): 182-205.

Argues that a key and underappreciated driver of the racial income gap has been the national trend of rising income inequality.

"Fast Food Data: Where User-Generated Content Works and Where it Does Not." (with David Folch and Seth Spielman). Geographical Analysis 50, no. 2 (2018): 125-140.

Examine the correspondence between Phoenix metro area restaurants identified by a social media source ( and those from an administrative source (Maricopa Association of Governments [MAG]). Finds that they capture largely disjoint subsets of Phoenix restaurants, with only about one-third of restaurants in each data set present in the other.

"The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility since 1940" (with Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren, and Jimmy Narang). Science 3, no. 56 (2017): 398-406.

Estimates rates of "absolute income mobility" - the fraction of children who earn more than their parents - by combining historical data from Census and CPS cross-sections with panel data for recent birth cohorts from de-identified tax records.