Grad Students

Caitlin Ahearn

Contact Information

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Caitlin is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at UCLA. She is broadly interested in inequality in educational and occupational expectations and attainment, and the differential effects of higher education on various adult outcomes. She is also interested in applications of causal inference using large-scale survey data. Her dissertation explores the ways that college enrollment decisions shape the transition to adulthood. Other ongoing research projects examine socioeconomic and school influences on expectational alignment, the effects of college on voting (with her advisor Jennie Brand and Xiang Zhou), and elite enrollment patterns over time (with Ryan Cho). Caitlin is a student affiliate at the California Center for Population Research and is a research fellow for the Los Angeles Education Research Institute.  

Fields of Study

Education, Demography, Quantitative Methods, Social Stratification and Mobility



Rosenbaum, James E., Caitlin Ahearn, and Janet Rosenbaum. Bridging the Gaps: College Pathways to Career Success. New York, NY: The Russell Sage Foundation.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Ahearn, Caitlin and Jennie E. Brand. “Predicting Job Loss Among Fragile Families.” Socius.

Rosenbaum, James E., Caitlin Ahearn, Janet Rosenbaum, and Kelly Becker. 2016. Beyond Earnings And Social Reproduction: Can College Lead To Good Jobs Without Reproducing Social Inequalities? The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

Rosenbaum, James E., Caitlin Ahearn, Kelly Iwanaga Becker, and Janet Rosenbaum. 2015 The New Forgotten Half and Research Directions to Support Them. Discussion Paper on Inequality. New York City: W.T. Grant Foundation.

Grants and Awards

David P. Gardner Seminar Fellowship, Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley (2020-2021)

NICHD Traineeship, UCLA California Center for Population Research (2019-2020)

Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, UCLA (2018-2019)

Teaching Assistant Award, Department of Sociology, UCLA (2018)

NSF Predoctoral Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Honorable Mention (2018)

Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship, UCLA (2017)


Jennie Brand


C.Phil Sociology, UCLA, 2020

M.A. Sociology, UCLA, 2018

B.S. Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2013