Aradhya Sood (PhD '20) wins Russell Sage Foundation grant

Alumna Aradhya Sood (PhD '20) has been awarded a prestigious Pipeline Grant for Emerging Scholars from the Russell Sage Foundation in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Twenty-one awards were made to research projects representing "a wide range of innovative research on economic mobility and access to opportunity in the United States."

Aradhya Sood

Sood received the grant with collaborator Milena Almagro, University of Chicago, to continue her work studying racially restrictive housing covenants and the racial wealth gap. In Sood's previous research, she and co-authors William Speagle and Kevin Ehrman-Solberg used data from the University of Minnesota's Mapping Prejudice project and found "that racial covenants have had time-persistent effects and have significantly affected the socioeconomic geography of Minneapolis. In particular, we document that houses that were covenanted have on average 7% higher present-day house values compared to houses that were not covenanted. We also find that census blocks with a larger share of covenanted lots have smaller black population and lower black homeownership rates."

In the next phase of this research, with support from the Russell Sage Foundation grant, Sood and Almagro will work to disentangle the different channels through which racial covenants shaped the socio-economic geography of the Twin Cities. Sood shares, "We will spend the summer collecting historical data at a very large scale, including names of developers for all houses built 1910-1950, geocoding a 1930 street map in order to match addresses from 1930 and 1940 census to present-day geography, and collecting historic tax assessor data of 1930 and 1940." The ultimate goal is to measure the racial wealth gap stemming from the discriminatory policy of racial covenants.

Sood is currently completing a year as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and will join the Department of Management as Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto at Scarborough and Rotman School of Management in summer 2021.

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Social Sciences
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