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Department Updates July 12, 2021

Leah Boustan Named Director of the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton

The Economics Department at Princeton University congratulates Professor Leah Boustan on being named director of the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University.

Boustan is a renowned economic historian whose work has greatly expanded our understanding of trends in immigration and migration–globally and within the United States–over the last 100 years.

“Leah continues a long tradition of outstanding scholars in the Section and as its Directors,” said Princeton’s Orley Ashenfelter. “Her work in economic history brings some new dimensions for students and her colleagues‎.”

As director of the Industrial Relations Section, Boustan follows Alexandre Mas, who served as director from 2017 to 2021.

Boustan is the author of “Competition in the Promised Land: Black Migrants in Northern Cities and Labor Markets,” (Princeton University Press, 2016) which examines the effect of the Great Black Migration from the rural south during and after World War II. She is also the author of the upcoming book, “Streets of Gold: The Untold Story of America’s Immigration Saga” (PublicAffairs, 2022).

“Leah Boustan is a leading labor economist and economic historian, who has made important contributions to our understanding of internal U.S. migration, with a focus on the Great Migration of Black Americans from the South to the North in the mid-20th century, and immigration to the U.S. from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” said Professor Henry Farber. “I am very pleased that she has agreed to serve as Director of the Industrial Relations Section.”

Professor Boustan is co-director of the Development of the American Economy Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She also serves as co-editor at the Journal of Urban Economics and on the editorial board of the American Economic Review. In 2012, she was named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.

Boustan is an undergraduate alumnus of Princeton. A member of the Class of 2000, she graduated summa cum laude with an A.B. in Economics. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Princeton, Boustan taught at the University of California Los Angeles.

About the Industrial Relations Section

The Industrial Relations Section was established at Princeton in 1922 to serve as a global center for the study of critical industrial relations issues at the time, including policies at large companies related to employee representation plans, employee stock ownership, and various benefit plans.

Over the last 100 years, the Section has grown into a world-renowned center for the study of labor economics, more broadly. Current research interests in the Section include unemployment and racial discrimination, the economics of labor supply and retirement, education and school quality, the effects on minimum wages, labor turnover and job duration, quality of life issues, and law and economics.

Learn more about the Section and its work on the Industrial Relations Section website.

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