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Laura Adler's research examines the relationship between organizations and their legal and market environments. One set of projects explores valuation processes and how organizations refer to information about the external labor market to set pay for employees. Other papers address the future of work, with a focus on changing technologies, new employment relationships, and evolving expectations for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Her work uses multiple methods including interviews, historical archives, and experiments. She specializes in mixed methods design, using fieldwork to develop novel hypotheses and testing these in experimental contexts.

Laura has a PhD in sociology from Harvard University, a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley, and a BA in the Humanities from Yale University.


PhD, Harvard University 2022

Selected Publications


Framing Disruption: The Regulatory Capture Frame in the Deregulation of Boston’s Ride-for-Hire Industry
L. Adler
Socio-Economic Review
Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.1421–1450


Choosing Bad Jobs: The Use of Nonstandard Work as a Commitment Device
L. Adler
Work and Occupations
Volume 48, Issue 2, pp. 207-242


The Role of Space in the Formation of Social Ties
M. Small and L. Adler
Annual Review of Sociology
Volume 45, pp. 111-132


Bridging Cultural Sociology and Cognitive Psychology in Three Contemporary Research Programs
M. Lamont, L. Adler, B. Y. Park, and X. Xiang
Nature Human Behaviour
Volume 1, pp. 866–72



Cheryl Allyn Miller Award for Best Student Paper, Sociologists for Women in Society, 2021
Best Student Paper Award, ASA Sociology of Law Section, 2021
Best Student Paper Award, ASA Labor and Labor Movements Section, 2021
Candace Rogers Student Paper Award, Eastern Sociological Society, Honorable Mention, 2021
Burt Award for Best Student Paper, ASA Economic Sociology Section, Honorable Mention, 2020
Best Graduate Student Paper, ASA Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity Section, Co-Winner, 2020
Jeanne Humphrey Block Dissertation Award, Harvard University, 2020
Rose Laub Coser Dissertation Proposal Award, Eastern Sociological Society, 2020
Certificate of Distinction, Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University, 2017 and 2020
Early Career Workshop Award, Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, 2019