Chris Tilly

Chris Tilly

Professor of Urban Planning


B.A., Biochemistry, Harvard College, 1976;
Ph.D., Economics and Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, 1989

Areas of Interest:

Community Development, Labor and Employment, Latin America Social Movements/Labor Unions


(310) 206-7150


Office Location:

5358, Public Affairs
Web page: Experiences Organizing Informal Workers

Chris Tilly studies labor markets, inequality, urban development, and public policies directed toward better jobs.

He is particularly interested in understanding how combinations of institutions and markets generate unequal labor outcomes, and in how public policy and collective action can successfully be directed toward improving and equalizing such outcomes. Within this framework, Professor Tilly has examined part-time and contingent work, gender and racial disparities, job mobility, and other issues.

While continuing to conduct research on workplace issues in the United States, Professor Tilly has increasingly undertaken comparative research on countries including Brazil, China, India, Korea, Mexico, and South Africa, along with several European countries.  His areas of greatest expertise are the United States, Mexico, and Latin America.

In addition to conducting scholarly research, he served for 20 years (1986-2006) as editor of Dollars and Sense, a popular economics magazine, and frequently conducts research for advocacy groups, community organizations, and labor unions. He served on the Program Committee and later the Board of Directors of Grassroots International from 1991-2003, ending that time as the Chair of the Board.

Before becoming an academic, he spent eight years doing community and labor organizing.

For more about Tilly’s current research, view his web page.