Florencia Torche is a social scientist with substantive interests in social demography, stratification, and education. Professor Torche’s scholarship encompasses two related areas. A longer-term area of research studies inequality dynamics -- the dynamics that result in persistence of inequality across generations -- with a particular focus on educational attainment, assortative mating (who marries who), and the intergenerational transmission of wealth. A more recent area of research examines the influence of early-life exposures –as early as the prenatal period– on individual development, attainment, and socioeconomic wellbeing. She has studied the effect of in-utero exposure to environmental stressors on children’s outcomes, and how these exposures contribute to the persistence of poverty across generations.
Torche’s research combines diverse methodological approaches including quantitative analysis, causal inference, experiments and natural experiments, and in-depth interviews. Much of her research uses an international comparative perspective. She has conducted large cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, including the first national survey on social mobility in Chile and Mexico. Her work has appeared in journals in sociology and other disciplines, such as the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, the Annual Review of Sociology, Demography, Sociology of Education, Human Reproduction, and the International Journal of Epidemiology. Her research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation, among others.