Florencia Torche is a sociologist with research expertise in inequality and mobility, social demography, and the sociology of education. She is recognized for her studies on the role of educational attainment plays in providing opportunity for social mobility, and her research on the effect of prenatal exposure to stress on children?s health, cognitive development, and educational attainment. Torche has lead large data collection projects, including the first social mobility surveys in Chile and Mexico. Torche was born in Chicago, Illinois and she grew up in Santiago, Chile. She graduated from Columbia University with a PhD in sociology in 2004. She has been a faculty member at the City University of New York (CUNY), New York University (NYU) and she is currently a professor of sociology at Stanford University. Torche is a member of the Sociological Research Association, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Florencia Torche's scholarship examines the persistence of inequality across generations, and the factors that contribute to or hamper intergenerational mobility. She has established two areas of research. The first one examines differences in intergenerational mobility across countries and the role that educational attainment plays in the persistence of inequality across generations. Her second area of research examines the effect of in-utero exposure to environmental stressors on children's health, cognitive development, and educational attainment. Drawing on natural experiments in different countries she has demonstrated a detrimental effect of prenatal stress exposure on outcomes over the early life course. She has also shown that the harmful effect of prenatal stress is stronger among disadvantaged families, but it can be reduced through health-enhancing behavioral responses.

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Primary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences