Jacob L. Vigdor

Professor of Public Policy and Economics; Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy

Jacob Vigdor is professor of economics and public policy at Duke University, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He received a B.S. in policy analysis from Cornell University in 1994 and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1999.

His research interests are in the broad areas of education policy, immigration policy, housing policy, and political economy. Within those areas, he has published numerous scholarly articles on the topics of residential segregation, immigrant assimilation, housing affordability, the consequences of gentrification, the determinants of student achievement in elementary and secondary school, the causes and consequences of delinquent behavior among adolescents, teacher turnover, civic participation and voting patterns, and racial inequality in the labor market. These articles have been published in outlets such as The Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Public Economics, The Journal of Human Resources, and The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Vigdor has taught at Duke since 1999. His book on assimilation and immigration policy, From Immigrants to Americans: The Rise and Fall of Fitting In, published by Rowman and Littlefield in the fall of 2009, received the 2009 IPUMS research award for the best analysis of historical Census data.

Research Interests:

  • Economics
  • Education
  • Demographics


  • PhD in Economics Harvard University - 1999
  • BS with Distinction in Policy Analysis Cornell University - 1994

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • J.L. Vigdor (2009) From Immigrants to Americans: The Rise and Fall of Fitting In
  • C.T. Clotfelter, H.F. Ladd, J.L. Vigdor (2012) New Destinations, New Trajectories? The Educational Attainment and Persistence of Hispanic Youth in North Carolina. Child Development, 83, 1608-1622,
  • P.S. Arcidiacono, S. Khan, J.L. Vigdor (2011) Representation versus Assimilation: How do Preferences in College Admissions Affect Social Interactions? Journal of Public Economics, 95, 1-15,
  • C.T. Clotfelter, H.F. Ladd, and J.L. Vigdor (2009) The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 through 8 Review of Economics and Statistics, 91, 398-419,
  • Cook, P., R. MacCoun, C. Muschkin and J.L. Vigdor (2008) The Negative Impacts of Starting Middle School in Sixth Grade Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27, 104-121,
  • Cutler, D.M., E.L. Glaeser, and J.L. Vigdor (2008) Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation Review of Economics and Statistics, 90,
  • J.L. Vigdor (2007) The Katrina Effect: Was There a Bright Side to the Evacuation of Greater New Orleans? The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 7,
  • J.L. Vigdor (2004) Community Composition and Collective Action: Analyzing Initial Mail Response to the 2000 Census Review of Economics and Statistics, 86, 303-312,
  • J.L. Vigdor (2002) Locations, Outcomes, and Selective Migration Review of Economics and Statistics, 84, 751-755,
  • Cutler, D.M, E.L. Glaeser and J.L. Vigdor (1999) The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto Journal of Political Economy, 107, 455-506,