Zachary D. Kline

B.A., 2015, Sociology, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
M.A., 2017, Sociology, University of Connecticut

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Research Interests: Zachary is a social stratification researcher whose substantive interests intersect with public policy, economic sociology, and urban sociology. Methodologically, he employs quantitative and computational techniques.
Dissertation: The Rise of “Choice” Programs: 100 Years of Social Sorting in Social Welfare Services The question of governments’ role in providing social services is long standing. The dominant school of thought is that government programs counter‐act the concentration of resources from market forces by provisioning standardized services to those who qualify. A contemporary school of thought is more multifaceted: Governments directly manage and provide social services, but governments also affect social service provision through market regulations and even the creation of marketplaces. The Emergence Of “choice programs” is a quintessential example of this multifaceted approach. “Choice” programs are a form of social welfare provision characterized by individuals who receive services in the form of “products” through participation in a market. Taking an institutional perspective, this dissertation documents the historical rise of choice programs in retirement, healthcare, education, and housing. Particular attention is given to explaining how modern social sorting mechanisms became second nature, altering who benefits, who is left out, and the overall effectiveness of the public welfare system.
Committee:  Jeremy Pais, Mary Fischer, Simon Cheng, Christin Munsch, Andrew Deener