info [at]

Princeton University
Department of Sociology
153 Wallace Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544


Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography. In 2018, Desmond’s Eviction Lab at Princeton University published the first-ever dataset of more than 80 million American eviction records. The Lab currently is pursuing nearly a dozen lines of inquiry analyzing this groundbreaking dataset that will help scholars, policymakers, and advocates better understand eviction, housing insecurity, and poverty. 

In 2015, Desmond was awarded his MacArthur Genius Grant for “revealing the impact of eviction on the lives of the urban poor and its role in perpetuating racial and economic inequality.” In 2018, he received the Stowe Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice, awarded by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center to authors whose work shines a light on critical social issues. Previous recipients include Ta-Nehisi Coates and Bryan Stevenson. Desmond was also in 2016 named one of the Politico 50, one of "fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate." 

A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, Desmond is also the author of the award-winning book On the Fireline, the coauthor of two books on race, and the editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. He has written award-winning essays and peer-reviewed articles on topics including educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market. He is a Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The Washington Post, among many other publications.