Fabian T. Pfeffer
Faculty Associate, PSC
Research Associate Professor, SRC-PSID
Associate Professor, Sociology
Fabian Pfeffer received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 after receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Cologne, Germany in Social Sciences, Economics, and Sociology. Pfeffer was a faculty research fellow with the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) before transitioning to multiple appointments across the University. Today, Dr. Pfeffer is a Research Associate Professor with ISR and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan.
Pfeffer's main research interests are the comparative study of social inequality and its maintenance across time and generations. Recent projects have investigated the change in wealth inequality during the Great Recession, the relationship between parents' wealth and their children's educational and occupational outcomes (compared both across time and countries), the transmission of inequality across multiple generations in the United States, the role of education in intergenerational social class mobility, international comparisons of educational inequalities, and inequalities in U.S. higher education.
In addition to his academic appointments and independent research, Dr. Pfeffer serves as Co-Investigator of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the longest running longitudinal household survey in the world. He also leads the Inequality Lab, a research and training laboratory that investigates the dynamics of social inequality and trains the next generation of inequality scholars. Pfeffer is currently developing the new Center for Inequality Dynamics, which will undertake foundational research on wealth inequality and socioeconomic mobility and produce the data needed to address these topics. Ultimately, Pfeffer hopes to distribute information on the national state of wealth inequality, while rethinking the traditional pedagogical techniques used in the American collegiate classroom. In 2019, Pfeffer won the American Sociological Association's Doris Entwisle Early Career Award for his work in the sociology of education.
- Effects of Social Mobility on Individual Well-Being, Attitudes, and Behavior: Full and Partial Identification. (Fabian T. Pfeffer) 2020-2023. NSF.
- Linking 1940 U.S. Census Data to Five Modern Surveys of Health and Aging. (Fabian T. Pfeffer) 2018-2018. NIH.
- Continuity and Change in American Economic and Social Life: The PSID 2017 - 2020. (David Scott Johnson, Katherine A. McGonagle, Fabian T. Pfeffer, Narayan Sastry, Robert F. Schoeni) 2017-2021. NSF.
- Health, Wealth, and Time Use Over the Life Course and Across Generations. (Vicki A. Freedman, Charles C. Brown, Katherine A. McGonagle, Fabian T. Pfeffer, Robert F. Schoeni, Natalie Colabianchi, Steven G. Heeringa, Trivellore E. Raghunathan, Kenneth M. Langa, David Scott Johnson) 2016-2021. NIA.
- Transition to Adulthood within its Life Course & Intergenerational Family Context. (Narayan Sastry, Katherine A. McGonagle, Robert F. Schoeni, William G. Axinn, Deirdre R. Bloome, Fabian T. Pfeffer, Paula Fomby, Pamela E. Davis-Kean) 2016-2021. NICHD.
- Family Dynamics, Fertility, and Investments in Children Across Generations. (Narayan Sastry, Katherine A. McGonagle, Fabian T. Pfeffer, Robert F. Schoeni, Steven G. Heeringa) 2016-2021. NICHD.
- Linking 1940 U.S. Census Data for Five Modern Surveys on Health and Aging . (Fabian T. Pfeffer, Mary B. Ofstedal, Robert F. Schoeni, Vicki A. Freedman, David R. Weir) 2016-2018. NIA.
- How Accessible is the Top? The Changing Rigidity of High Incomes and Earnings. (Fabian T. Pfeffer) 2016-2018. Sage, Russell, Foundation.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Alexandra Killewald. 2019. "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and Racial Inequality." Socius 5.
- Elwert, Felix, and Fabian T. Pfeffer. Forthcoming. "The Future Strikes Back: Using Future Treatments to Detect and Reduce Hidden Bias." Sociological Methods & Research
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Alexandra Killewald. 2018. "Generations of Advantage. Multigenerational Correlations in Family Wealth." Social Forces 96(14): 1411-1442.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T. 2018. "Growing Wealth Gaps in Education." Demography 55(3): 1033-1068.
- Hällsten, Martin, and Fabian T. Pfeffer. 2017. "Grand Advantage: Family Wealth and Grandchildren's Educational Achievement in Sweden." American Sociological Review 82(2): 328-360. SAGE Publications.
- Killewald, Alexandra, and Fabian T. Pfeffer. 2017. "Wealth Inequality and Accumulation." Annual Review of Sociology 43: 379-404.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Jamie Griffin. 2017. "Determinants of Wealth Fluctuation: Changes in Hard-To-Measure Economic Variables in a Panel Study." Methods, Data, and Analyses 11(1): 87-108.
- Prix, Irene, and Fabian T. Pfeffer. 2017. "Does Donald need Uncle Scrooge? Extended family wealth and children's educational attainment in the United States." Pp. 112-135-Education;Poverty & Inequality; in Social Inequality Across the Generations: The Role of Compensation and Multiplication in Resource Accumulation, edited by Erola, Jani, Kilpi-Jakonen, Elina. Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., Robert F. Schoeni, Arthur Kennickell, and Patricia Andreski. 2016. "Measuring wealth and wealth inequality: Comparing two US surveys." Journal of economic and social measurement 41(2): 103-120. IOS Press.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Robert F. Schoeni. 2016. "How Wealth Inequality Shapes Our Future." RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 2(6): 2-22. Russell Sage Foundation.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T. 2015. "Equality and quality in education. A comparative study of 19 countries." Social science research 51: 350-368.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Florian R. Hertel. 2015. "How Has Educational Expansion Shaped Social Mobility Trends in the United States?" Social Forces 94(1): 143-180. Oxford University Press.
- Brand, J. E., Fabian T. Pfeffer, and S. Goldrick-Rab. 2014. "The Community College Effect Revisited: The Importance of Attending to Heterogeneity and Complex Counterfactuals." Sociological science 1: 448-465.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T. 2014. "Multigenerational approaches to social mobility. A multifaceted research agenda." Inequality Across Multiple Generations 35: 1-12.
- Falk, Emily, Pamela E. Davis-Kean, Kenneth M. Langa, John E. Schulenberg, Daniel P. Keating, Fabian T. Pfeffer, Colter M. Mitchell, Megan E. Patrick, et al. 2013. "What is a representative brain? Neuroscience meets population science." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110(44): 17615-17622.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., Sheldon H. Danziger, and Robert F. Schoeni. 2013. "Wealth Disparities Before and After the Great Recession." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 650: 98-123.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T. 2011. "Status attainment and wealth in the United States and Germany." in Persistance, privilege and parenting. The comparative study of intergenerational mobility, edited by Smeeding, Timothy, Erikson, Robert, Jantti, Markus. New York: Russell Sage.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T., and Sara Goldrick-Rab. 2009. "Beyond Access: Explaining Socioeconomic Differences in College Transfer." Sociology of Education 82(2): 101-125.
- Pfeffer, Fabian T. 2008. "Persistent Inequality in Educational Attainment and its Institutional Context." European Sociological Review 24(5): 543-565.
- Pfeffer recognized with William Julius Wilson Early Career Award from Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility section of the ASA
- Fabian Pfeffer receives Doris Entwisle Early Career Award from American Sociological Association
- Bernie Sanders on target saying 3 richest have as much wealth as bottom half of all Americans
- PSC Researchers & Trainees presenting latest research findings at PAA 2019
- MiCDA Researchers present latest findings at PAA 2019
- Pfeffer and Killewald illustrate racial wealth gap with data visualization
- "The privilege of going to college in the US has always been about money", Pfeffer featured in Quartz
- 3 Questions with Fabian Pfeffer
- Pfeffer: Wealth provided some Americans a "private safety net" during economic recovery
- Pfeffer on the growing wealth gap in college attainment
- Pfeffer comments on Fed report that reveals 20-year decline in net worth among American families
- Pfeffer charts family wealth's impact on social advantage over multiple generations in Sweden
- Pfeffer and Schoeni cover the economic and social dimensions of wealth inequality in this special issue
- Pfeffer says reasons for falling household wealth in the U.S. elusive, but it has been going on for a long time
- Back to the Future: Using future treatments to detect and reduce hidden bias in social science research
- Greg Duncan to present on the impacts of child and adolescent interventions: Mar. 11, 12pm, 1430 ISR-Thompson
- PRB report examines the impact of the Great Recession on older Americans
- Pfeffer and colleagues re-examine impacts of community college attendance
- Pfeffer says housing bubble masked decade-long growth in household net worth inequality
- Pfeffer, Danziger, and Schoeni find uneven wealth gains in slow recovery from recession
- Pfeffer says social mobility in US tied to parental wealth
- Pfeffer et al. find increase in college completion rates among disadvantaged students attending 2-year colleges
- Pfeffer discusses importance of preschool exposures to educational outcomes