Eric Grodsky

Position title: Professor, Sociology


Phone: (608) 262-4896

4454 Sewell Social Sciences

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Curriculum vitae


I am Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies and Co-Director of the Madison Education Partnership, a research-practice partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District and UW-Madison. I have worked with and taught on quantitative models for observational data for the past 15 years, largely applying my skills to substantive work in education. The data sets on which I rely are typically drawn from panel studies based on stratified, clustered samples, have complex patterns of unit and item nonresponse and thus require analytic techniques to address a variety of violations of assumption on which simpler model are based (including correlated disturbances and heteroskedasticity).

In addition to pursuing my own research, I am on the training faculty for our Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences (ED 144-AAA7561) and our Center for Demography and Ecology training program (T32 HD07014) and provide methodological training and guidance to doctoral candidates in both programs. Much of the work I have done considers the stratified contexts under which families and schools contribute to the development of human capital. Students develop skill throughout their life course, beginning during early childhood, the focus of some of my current work, through primary, middle and high school, college and beyond. At each step of the way some are accelerated or ‘propped up’ by family advantage while others struggle to overcome obstacles that thwart their development. These skills include socioemotional and behavioral skills often measured via surveys or proxy reports from parents and teachers, cognitive skills related to academic achievement (captured by standardized test scores, including but not limited to state accountability systems and college entrance exams) and complementary skills between these two, such as the ability to perform tasks in a satisfactory way, produce quality written work and meet deadlines (often proxied in educational surveys by grades or other teacher evaluations).

Within CDE, my research falls squarely within the Demography of Inequality, and some of my more recent work is linked with Health and the Life Course and Spatial and Environmental Demography. Given my extensive background with quantitative analyses, I am well-trained to serve as Co-Director of the Scientific and Technical Core, and I also serve as a member of the CDE Executive Committee.

CDE research theme area affiliations

Demography of Inequality; Health and the Life Course; Spatial and Environmental Demography

Selected Publications

Schudde, Lauren and Eric Grodsky. 2019. “The Community College Experience and Educational Equality: Theory, Research, and Policy.” Pp. 405-430 in Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century edited by Barbara Schneider. Springer International Publishing.

Larson, Andrea, Lawrence M. Berger, David C. Mallinson, Eric Grodsky and Deborah B. Ehrenthal. 2018. “Variable Uptake of Medicaid-Covered Prenatal Care Coordination: The Relevance of Treatment Level and Service Context.” Journal of Community Health. doi: 10.1007/s10900-018-0550-9.

Posselt, Julie, and Eric Grodsky. “The Role of Graduate and Professional Education in Social Stratification.” Annual Review of Sociology 43 (2017): 353-78. PMCID: PMC6335048

Carroll, Jamie, Chandra Muller, Eric Grodsky, and John Robert Warren. “Tracking Health Inequalities from High School to Midlife.” Social Forces 96, no. 2 (2017): 591-628. PMCID: PMC5786152

Doren, Catherine, and Eric Grodsky. “What Skills Can Buy: Transmission of Advantage through Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills.” Sociology of Education 89, no. 4 (2016): 321-42. PMCID: PMC5358666