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Monica Prasad

Professor of Sociology - On Leave (2019-20 Academic Year)

Area(s) of Interest

Comparative Historical Analysis

Relevant Links

Institute for Policy Research


Monica Prasad's areas of interest are political sociology, economic sociology, and comparative historical sociology. Her new book Starving the Beast asks why Republican politicians have focused so relentlessly on cutting taxes over the last several decades--whether the economy is booming or in recession, whether the federal budget is in surplus or deficit, and even though total taxes in the U.S. are already lower than in other developed countries. Drawing on archival documents that have never before been seen, Prasad traces the history of the famous 1981 "supply side" tax cut which became the cornerstore for the next several decades of Republican domestic economic policy. She argues that the main forces behind tax cuts are not business group pressure, racial animus, or a belief that tax cuts will pay for themselves. Rather, the tax cut movement arose because in America--unlike in the rest of the advanced industrial world--progressive policies are not embedded within a larger political economy that is favorable to business, a situation whose origins she explored in a prior book (The Land of Too Much).  

Prasad's scholarship has won several grants and awards, including the Fulbright award, the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Grant, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and several book and article awards.

Courses Taught

SOCIOL 324: Global Capitalism Syllabus

SOCIOL 398-1: Senior Research Seminar Syllabus

SOCIOL 476: Global Capitalism Syllabus

SOCIOL 476: Political Sociology Syllabus

SOCIOL 476: Neoliberalism Syllabus

SOCIOL 476: Research Design Syllabus


Starving the Beast: Ronald Reagan and the Tax Cut Revolution; Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2018--
data and calculations

The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty; Harvard University Press, 2012 -- data and calculations

The Politics of Free Markets: The Rise of Neoliberal Economic Policies in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States;University of Chicago Press, 2006

The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective;
Co-edited with Isaac Martin and Ajay Mehrotra; Cambridge University Press, 2009


The Popular Origins of Neoliberalism in the Reagan Tax Cut of 1981; Journal of Policy History; Cambridge University Press, 2012

Lessons from Environmental Taxes in Europe; Government and Markets (Chapter 11)
Edward J. Balleisen and David A. Moss; Cambridge University Press, 2010

The Origins of Tax Systems; With Kimberly J. Morgan; American Journal of Sociology, 2009

Three Theories of the Crisis; Accounts (ASA) (Essay); Economic Sociology Newsletter, 2009

Symposium on the Politics of Free Markets; ASA Political Sociology, 2007

Why Is France So French?; American Journal of Sociology, 2005


Data and Calculations for Starving the Beast 

Data and Calculations for Land of Too Much

France Interwar Departmental Data

Interviews for "Walking the Line" article

Comparative Taxation Dataset

Comparative Taxation Dataset Codebook

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