Garrett Grainger, '10

Student

Garrett Grainger, '10

Files

Cohort

2009

Faculty Mentor

Matthew C. Mahutga

Undergraduate Major

Psychology

Future Plans

Ph.D. in Sociology

Research

World-System Position and Income Inequality: An Exploratory Analysis Conducted at the University of Central Florida as part of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. Mentors: Dr. Matthew C. Mahutga, University of California at Riverside, Department of Sociology Abstract: For years, social scientists have struggled to understand the observed cross-national variation in income inequality. Conventional wisdom suggests that several factors internal to nation-states explain this variation, including levels of economic development and concomitant inter-sector shifts in the composition of labor markets (Kuznets, 1955). Within sociology, such thinking has evolved into a standard “internal development model” consisting of variables that differentiate between countries in terms of attributes internal to them. Yet, a substantial body of research also demonstrates that factors, including levels of foreign investment and country’s overall role in an interdependent world-system, also explain variate in income inequality (Mahutga and Bandelj 2008; Bornschier and Chase 1985; and Nolan 1983). With the exception of one excellent but limited study (Alerson and Nielsen 1999), there is a paucity of research designed to understand the relative importance of “internal” and “external” factors to cross-national variation in income inequality. The initial stages of this project include dataset compilation and exploratory data analysis. The first step will allow us to assemble a more reliable dataset of cross-nationally comparable indices of income inequality, while the latter step begins the process of subjecting both types of explanations to empirical tests. In short, we hope to complete the first stage of advancing the social scientific understanding of the cross-national variation of income inequality.

Project

Developing Equity or Structuring Inequality? Toward a Political Economy of Income Inequality Authors: Matthew C Mahutga Ph.D. (Department of Sociology, UC Riverside) , Garrett Grainger (University of Central Florida), Andrew K Jorgenson Ph.D. (Department of Sociology, University of Utah), Roy Kwon Ph.D. (Department of Sociology, UC Riverside) Abstract: Beginning with the seminal work of Kuznets (1955), social scientists have struggled to understand the observed cross-national variation in income inequality. Conventional wisdom suggests that several factors internal to nation-states explain this variation, including domestic institutions (Epsing-Anderson 1990; Lee 2005) and a country’s stage in the process of economic development (Kuznets, 1955). A substantial body of research also demonstrates that other factors, including levels of foreign investment and country’s overall role in an interdependent world-system, also explain variation in income inequality (Mahutga and Bandelj 2008; Bornschier and Chase 1985; Nolan 1983). This paper reports preliminary results from an analysis designed to determine the most important among the many proposed causes of variation in income inequality between countries and over time.

Disciplines

Psychology | Sociology

Garrett Grainger, '10

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