Dalton Conley

Professor, New York University

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Dalton Conley is University Professor at New York University. He holds faculty appointments in NYU's Sociology Department, School of Medicine and the Wagner School of Public Service. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor ofCommunity Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). In a pro bono capacity, he is Dean of Arts and Sciences for the (University of the People)--a tuition-free institution committed to expanding access to higher education. He has previously served as Dean for the Social Sciences and Chair of Sociology at NYU.

Conley’s research focuses on the determinants of economic opportunity within and across generations. In this vein, he studies sibling differences in socioeconomic success; racial inequalities; the measurement of class; and how health and biology affect (and are affected by) social position. In 2005, he became the first sociologist to win the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, given annually to one young researcher in any field of science, mathematics or engineering. He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.

Conley holds a B.A. from the University of California – Berkeley, an M.P.A. & a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, and an M.S. & M.Phil. in Biology from NYU. He is currently pursing a Ph.D. in Biology at the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at NYU, studying phenotypic capacitance and socially regulated genes.

Publications by Dalton Conley

You May Ask Yourself

You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist (Norton 2013)


Elsewhere USA


Elsewhere USA (Vintage 2008)








Honky (Vintage 2001)





 "Liberalism and the New Inequality," Breakthrough Journal, Volume 1 (Summer 2011)


Conley, D., Rauscher, E., Dawes, C., Magnusson, P. K., & Siegal, M. L. 2013. "Heritability and the Equal Environments Assumption: Evidence from Multiple Samples of Misclassified Twins." Behavior Genetics. 1-12.


Rietveld, N...D. Conley...P. Visscher. 2013. "GWAS of 126,559 Individuals Identifies Genetic Variants Associated with Educational Attainment.Science.


Fletcher, J. and D. Conley. 2013. "The Challenge of Causal Inference in Gene–Environment Interaction Research: Leveraging Research Designs From the Social Sciences." AJPH.


Conley, D. and E. Rauscher. 2013. "The Effect of Daughters on Partisanship and Social Attitudes toward Women." Sociological Forum.


D. Conley, E. Rauscher and M. Siegal. 2013. "Beyond orchids and dandelions: Testing the 5HTT “risky” allele for evidence of phenotypic capacitance and frequency dependent selection." Biodemography and Social Biology. 359:37-56.


Conley, Dalton & Stevens, Jacqueline. "America's other immigration problem," Slate (April 2012)



New York Times

"When Roommates Were Random," New York Times (August 28, 2011)




"Wired for Distraction: Kids and Social Media," Time (March 19, 2011)