Vida Maralani

Vida Maralani's picture
Assistant Professor, Sociology
Ph.D. UCLA, 2006;
M.A., History, San Francisco State University, 1994;
B.A., History, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
Areas of Interest: 
Stratification; Demography; Education; Health; Gender
493 College St, Room 308, New Haven, CT 06511-8907
Phone number: 

I study social stratification and demography with a focus on education, gender, and health. As an overarching goal, my work shows how social inequality and demography are interrelated, and approaches inequality as a process in motion, rather than a static snapshot. Much of my work examines the role that education plays in organizing social life, in particular how educational attainment is intertwined with other socioeconomic statuses.  I study educational inequality from a demographic perspective, paying particular attention to how it changes across the life course, generations, or birth cohorts, and relates to family processes such as marriage and fertility. For example, my research shows how education shapes women’s lives with regards to family and work, and the implications of women’s educational gains for educational inequality in future generations. I have also worked extensively on understanding socioeconomic disparities in health, especially the relationship between education and smoking.

I use a variety of quantitative methods in my research including formal demographic models, simulation methods, and semi-parametric methods. My work has been published in the leading journals of sociology and demography, including the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Demography, and funded by the Spencer Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Ongoing Projects

  • In a project funded by the Spencer Foundation, I am examining cohort changes in the association between non-cognitive skills and college outcomes by parental socioeconomic status (with Seongsoo Choi, Yale Sociology graduate student).
  • Using semi-parametric methods, I am studying the relationship between BMI and socioeconomic outcomes by gender and race and how these have changed across birth cohorts (with Douglas McKee, Yale Economics).
  • Using longitudinal data, I am studying differences in the personal characteristics and work and family lives of women who breastfeed (with Sam Stabler, Yale Sociology graduate student).
  • Drawing on comparative data from 55 developing nations, I am examining international and regional variation in how girls fare in their educational and health outcomes when their parents prefer sons over daughters (with Candas Pinar, Yale Sociology graduate student).

Recent Publications and Working Papers

  • V. Maralani. 2014. “Understanding the Links between Education and Smoking.” Social Science Research
  • V. Maralani. 2013. “The Demography of Social Mobility: Black-White Differences in the Process of Educational Reproduction.” American Journal of Sociology
  • V. Maralani. 2013. “Educational Inequalities in Smoking: The Role of Initiation versus Quitting.” Social Science & Medicine.
Papers Under Review
  • V. Maralani and D. McKee. “Obesity in the Eye of the Beholder: BMI and Socioeconomic Outcomes across Cohorts.”
  • V. Maralani. “An Unequal Start: The Bundling of Education and Smoking in Families of Origin.”
  • M. Andersson and V. Maralani. “Early Life Characteristics and Emergent Educational Disparities in Smoking.”


Courses and Seminars

  • SOCY 118, Numbers and Society (Demography).
  • SOCY 162, Methods in Quantitative Sociology.
  • SOCY 314, Inequality in America.
  • SOCY 361, Demography Gender and Health.
  • SOCY 543, Demography Gender and Health.
  • SOCY 558, Topics in Social Stratification.
  • SOCY 580, Methods in Quantitative Sociology.
  • SOCY 581, Intermediate Methods in Quantitative Sociology.
  • SOCY 595, Inequality & Life Course Workshop.