Devah Pager is a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, a professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and a professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Pager conducts research that exposes racial inequality in labor markets and the criminal justice system. She has undertaken field experiments to study how the race and criminal background of equally qualified individuals affect hiring decisions in the low-wage labor market. This research has already yielded one book, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and numerous articles. Currently Pager is collecting data on a cohort of job seekers—following them for a year—to determine how race, gender, and experiences with discrimination affect how and where they apply for work.
Pager received her BA in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. After obtaining two MAs in sociology, one from South Africa's University of Cape Town and the other from Stanford University, she earned a PhD at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and won the American Sociological Association Dissertation Award for “The Mark of a Criminal Record.”