The transition to adulthood has been a key concern of life course research, with the attainment of economic self-sufficiency viewed as a critical correlate of other important individual and family outcomes. While for some the transition from school to work is unproblematic, for others this pathway is irregular, interrupted, or blocked. In particular, young black men are less likely to follow a steady trajectory into employment, experiencing instead prolonged periods of joblessness, high rates of incarceration, and flattened earnings trajectories. This research program contributes to the literature on persistent racial disparities by examining how racial bias and discrimination affect the trajectories of black youth. Drawing on insights from psychology, political science, and sociology, this proposal lays out a five-year research agenda focusing on the conceptualization and measurement of discrimination. This research proposal contains two primary goals: First, the proposal develops a framework of comparative methodology, allowing us to study the problems of discrimination through the multiple lenses of field experiment, survey research, and laboratory experiment. Second, the proposal interrogates the mechanisms underlying discrimination, evaluating the contributions of individual and organizational characteristics, as well as examining the cognitive process underlying rational- actor models of discrimination. Together, this proposal lays out an integrated research program that builds sequentially across research domains and complementary methodologies to investigate contemporary forms of discrimination against young African American men. The proposed career development plan is designed to accomplish four objectives: (1) to expand the scope of my work to include perspectives from psychology and political science;(2) to acquire new skills in the use of experimental methods;(3) to gain expertise in survey research methods;and (4) to present my work at scholarly conferences and publish in leading journals. Training components include (1) mentorship by leading scholars of race, inequality, and discrimination from psychology, political science, and sociology;(2) coursework in experimental design, survey methods, and social psychology;(3) participation in workshops and seminars;and (4) further training in the responsible conduct of research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
King, Rosalind B
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Princeton University
Social Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Pager, Devah; Pedulla, David S (2015) Race, self-selection, and the job search process. AJS 120:1005-54
Pager, Devah; Western, Bruce (2012) Identifying Discrimination at Work: The Use of Field Experiments. J Soc Issues 68:221-237
Quillian, Lincoln; Pager, Devah (2010) Estimating Risk: Stereotype Amplification and the Perceived Risk of Criminal Victimization. Soc Psychol Q 73:79-104
Pager, Devah; Western, Bruce; Bonikowski, Bart (2009) Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment. Am Sociol Rev 74:777-799
Pager, Devah; Karafin, Diana (2009) Bayesian Bigot? Statistical Discrimination, Stereotypes, and Employer Decision Making. Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 621:70-93
Pager, Devah; Shepherd, Hana (2008) The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets. Annu Rev Sociol 34:181-209