Eric Grodsky

Position title: Professor, Sociology


Phone: (608) 262-4896

4454 Sewell Social Sciences

Department of Sociology
More information
Curriculum vitae


I am Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies, co-director of EdSHARe (Education Studies for Healthy Aging Research, an umbrella that includes the national cohort studies High School and Beyond and the National Longitudinal Study of the Class of 1972) and Co-Director of the Madison Education Partnership, a research-practice partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District and UW-Madison. My substantive work focuses on the role that education and social origins play in reducing or exacerbating inequities over the life course, from early childhood through the transition to and through college, graduate and professional school; the labor market; and healthy aging. I have worked with and taught quantitative methods for observational data for the past 20 years.

In addition to pursuing my own research, I am Deputy Director of our Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences (ED R305B200026) and help direct the research core in social stratification for our Center for Demography and Ecology (P2C HD047873; T32 HD07014). I provide methodological training and guidance to doctoral candidates affiliated with 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 skills 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

Warren, John Robert, Chandra Muller, Robert A. Hummer, Eric Grodsky, and Melissa Humphries. 2020. “Which Aspects of Education Matter for Early Adult Mortality? Evidence from the High School and Beyond Cohort.” Socius 6.

Jaymes Pyne and Eric Grodsky. 2020. “Inequality and Opportunity in a Perfect Storm of Graduate Student Debt.” Sociology of Education 93 (1): 20-39.

Christian Smith, Eric Grodsky and John Robert Warren. 2019. “Late-Stage Educational Inequality: Can Selection on Academic and Noncognitive Skills Explain Waning Social Background Effects?” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 63.

Mallinson, David, Eric Grodsky and Deborah Ehrenthal. 2019. “Gestational age, kindergarten-level literacy, and effect modification by maternal socioeconomic and demographic factors.” Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 33 (6): 467-479.