Associate Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York, Queens College


Studying Household Finance for Your Thesis

Info for MADASR students interested in household finance.
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This announcement is for MADASR students who are interested in studying household finance for their thesis. Professor Cohen is assembling a study group for the Spring 2021 semester.

About the Topic

Household finance research studies the details of people’s money situation.  It engages questions like:

  • Household income: Where people get their money? How much?  From where?  Who earns big money?  Who is just getting by?  Who needs the government to make ends meet?
  • Household spending: How do people spend their money?  How much?  On what?  Who spends big on different product categories, and who skimps?
  • Household assets: How much money do people have in the bank?  The stock market?  In their homes?  Who has a lot, and who doesn’t have much?
  • Household debts:  How much money do people owe?  To whom do they owe money?  Credit cards?  Student debt?  Mortgages?

Move beyond broad generalities about money, and dive into the details of important topics like consumer behavior, investor behavior, wealth, poverty, inequality, economic insecurity, social programs, and much else.

Thesis Opportunities

MADASR students who are interested in studying household finance for their thesis are invited to meet with Professor Joseph Cohen.  Professor Cohen can assist you in developing a thesis built around one of these major data sets:

Students who are interested in doing this work will meet weekly as a group with Professor Cohen to discuss literature, theory, methodology, analysis, and networking.

Why Study Household Finance?

  1. It matches your personal interest and aptitudes.  The most important reason to study this topic is that talking about money interests you, and you have a natural aptitude for it. 
  2. Good topic for those seeking work in marketing or finance.  Marketing and finance are two major industries in New York City.  Develop your knowledge of people’s money as part of your attempt to enter these industries.


Professor Cohen will be visiting Professor Turner’s class on Tuesday, February 2.  If you are not part of that class, please contact him at [email protected], subject: “Household Finance Thesis”

If you would like to read Professor Cohen’s most recent book on the topic, you can download it here.

Photo Credit. JCDecaux Creative Solutions “Bus Shelter Special – McCain Jackets b 02.12” Accessed and posted January 25, 2021.[email protected]/6851001925

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