My current project examines the rise of finance and its implications for neighborhood poverty, social policy and racial inequality. It involves a mixed-methods study of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in the Chicago metropolitan area. LIHTC is designed to encourage banks and other financial service entities to invest in the development of affordable housing properties.
This material forms the basis of my book manuscript-in-progress, entitled Liquid City: Affordable Housing and the Politics of Racial Inequity in the Age of Finance. The book will examine the emergence of the "affordable housing industry," and how it has redefined the racial politics of credit in a historically marginalized sector of the American economy. This research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, the Paris Institute for Political Studies, and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.
Another project, with Josh Pacewicz (Brown University) and Isaac Martin (UC-San Diego), examines the links between race and fiscal policy in the Chicagoland suburbs. Empirically, we focus on (1) the role of race in shaping variation among suburban municipalities in reliance on punitive fees and fines, and (2) the role of race in shaping why homeowners in some suburbs pay much higher property taxes than their neighbors in other suburbs. This project sheds light on the mechanisms by which the tax code reproduces and exacerbates racial inequality, a topic with which our society increasingly grapples.