Social Science

  • Fact-checking immigration: Boustan uses big data to explore myths about the past

    Monday, Jan 7, 2019
    by Kevin McElwee for the Office of the Dean for Research

    “When the horns started to blow and we saw the Statue of Liberty, I thought I was in heaven. Really. She’s up there and saying, ‘Come on in. From now on you are a free person.’”

    These are the words of Turkish immigrant John Alabilikian, who came to the United States in 1922, collected by the Ellis Island Foundation in 1985 as part of its oral history library. In his interview, Alabilikian described escaping the Armenian genocide and journeying to America.

  • Researchers link realism to blockchain's promise

    Wednesday, Dec 26, 2018
    by the Office of Engineering Communications

    Depending on who you ask, blockchain technology is poised to revolutionize the world — from creating a universal currency to building a free and truly private internet. Or, the new technology, built with a combination of encryption and transparency, is a solution in search of a problem.

    The reality likely falls somewhere in between. While a growing number of startups and researchers are devoting themselves to exploring blockchain’s full potential, experts caution that a healthy dose of skepticism is needed to fully evaluate the technology and its eventual place in society.

  • Eviction Lab examines the intersection of poverty and housing

    Monday, Dec 17, 2018
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    How many Americans are forced to leave their homes each year?

    When Matthew Desmond began investigating evictions in America, it was impossible to answer that question.

    “Imagine if we didn’t know how many people got cancer every year, or graduated from high school,” said Desmond, Princeton’s Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology. “This is a major American problem.”

  • Hispanics face racial discrimination in New York City’s rental housing market

    Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018
    by B. Rose Kelly, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

    Hispanics make up about one-third of New York City’s population, with many spending half of their income on rent. That is, of course, if they can even find housing at all — in a city suffering from an affordable housing crisis.

    Add to the mix that Hispanics experience significant levels of racial discrimination in the rental housing market, according to a new study. Compared to whites, they are 28 percent less likely to have a landlord return their calls and 49 percent less likely to receive an offer at all.

  • Women most likely to leave labor force after first child, not later births

    Monday, Oct 22, 2018
    by Denise Valenti for the Office of Communications

    While conventional wisdom suggests women reach a “tipping point” and are more likely to leave the workforce after having a second child, new findings by a Princeton University researcher show that, in fact, they are more likely to leave after their first child regardless of how many more times they give birth. However, women who ultimately have more children are always more likely to leave, even prior to having these later births.

  • Mind the gap: Bridging the computer-human divide

    Friday, Sep 14, 2018
    by Doug Hulette

    Suppose you’re about to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef or some other area of underwater beauty. You should be thinking about the wondrous marine life you’ll certainly see. But instead you’re fixated on the vanishingly small chance of coming eye to eye with a hungry shark.


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