Kerwin Charles, the Edwin and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor at the Harris School, conducts research on a range of subjects in the broad area of applied microeconomics. His work has examined such questions as how mandated minimum marriage ages affects young people's marriage and migration behavior; the effect of the racial composition of neighborhoods on the social connections people make, and the causes for the dramatic convergence in completed schooling between recent generations of American men and women.
Other work has explored differences in visible consumption across racial and ethnic groups; the effect of retirement on subjective well-being; the propagation of wealth across generations within a family; and many dimensions of the effect of health shocks, including on family stability and labor supply.
Recent work has studied the degree to which prejudice can account for wages and employment differences by race and gender. In ongoing work, he is studying the connection between economic outcomes and various aspects of voting behavior.