Alex Shpenev

Office Address: 

250 McNeil


Senior Data Research Scientist, Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D., Demography & Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 2017
M.A., Sociology & Demography, Higher School of Economics, 2013
B.A., Economics, Moscow State University, 2010

Entered Program: 
Dissertation Chair: 
Hans-Peter Kohler
Dissertation Committee Member: 
Irma T. Elo
Dissertation Committee Member: 
Samuel H. Preston
Dissertation Committee Member: 
Kristen Harknett
Graduation Year: 

I am a demographer and sociologist with a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. I also hold an MA in Statistics from the Wharton School. Before Penn, my main interests were historical demography and social and kin networks. I have been working in the field of historical demography since 2007 and have published several papers and book chapters about Moscow population. At Penn, my interests shifted to understanding the educational gradient in health and mortality, specifically at the intersection with the sociology of the family and social networks. I am starting my postdoctoral fellowship at the PennSOMG group in the fall of 2017, where I will investigate how social norms and social networks are linked to latrine use and better sanitation practices in India. My hobbies are literature (especially modern poetry) and foreign languages. I am fluent in Russian, English, and French, have conversational knowledge of German, Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian, and Estonian, and am currently learning Chinese and Hindi.