Affiliated faculty

Fabian T. Pfeffer

Associate Professor and Department Associate Chair

Fabian Pfeffer's research investigates social inequality and its maintenance across time and generations. His current work focuses on wealth inequality and its consequences for the next generation, the transmission of inequality across multiple generations, and the maintenance of inequality through education. Pfeffer is also a Research Associate Professor at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. He serves as the founding director of the Center for Inequality Dynamics (CID) as well as Co-Investigator of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Much of his advising and mentorship occurs within the Inequality Lab (, a research and training laboratory that investigates the dynamics of social inequality and trains the next generation of inequality scholars.

Educational background

  • UNIVERSITY OF COLOGNE, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ’Hauptstudium’ in Social Sciences, 2002-2004 ’Vordiplom’ in Economics/Sociology, 2001-2002

Current research

  • Social Inequality & Mobility
  • Wealth, Education
  • Crossnational Comparisons
  • Methods

Recent publications

  • Pfeffer, Fabian T. and Nora Waitkus. (forthcoming). “The Wealth Inequality of Nations” American Sociological Review
  • Pfeffer, Fabian T. and Nora Waitkus. (forthcoming). “Comparing Child Wealth Inequality Across Countries” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences
  • Rodems, Richard and Fabian T. Pfeffer. (forthcoming) “Avoiding Material Hardship: The Buffer Function of Wealth” Journal of European Social Policy
  • Pfeffer, Fabian T., Paula Fomby, and Noura Insolera. 2020. “The Longitudinal Revolution. Sociological Research at the 50-Year Milestone of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics” Annual Review of Sociology 46: 83-108
  • Hertel, Florian R. and Fabian T. Pfeffer. 2020. “The Land of Opportunity? Long-term trends in social mobility and education in the United States”. In: Breen, Richard and Walter Müller (eds.). Education and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Europe and the United States. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press
  • Elwert, Felix and Fabian T. Pfeffer. 2019 (online first). “The Future Strikes Back. Using Future Treatments to Assess Hidden Bias” Sociological Methods and Research
  • Pfeffer, Fabian T. and Alexandra Killewald. 2019. “Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and Racial Inequality” Socius 5: 1-2