My research broadly covers socio-economic inequality across countries, time and space. More specifically, I study cross-country differences in wealth inequality and how they relate to housing and welfare regimes and social policies. Other research interests aim at re-orientating empirical and theoretical class analysis to capture the rising importance of wealth. More recently, I have turned to studying the cultural processes in the maintenance of inequality, for example through the analysis of media reporting on the super-rich.

In my current work on cross-country differences in wealth inequality, I integrate social stratification, social policy, and political economy research to understand drivers and consequences of wealth inequality, its relationship to other dimensions of stratification, and how wealth inequality can be addressed by public interventions. This line of research fosters closer attention to taxation policies, housing policies, mortgage and credit markets, as well as welfare regimes. For this research – published amongst other outlets in American Sociological Review – I have won the Aldi Hagenaars Memorial Award and the RC28 significant scholarship award.

In my work on class and wealth (accumulation), I am interested in theoretical and empirical perspectives how to integrate wealth into class analysis. I study e.g. gender differences in wealth across occupational classes, or how portfolio classes accumulate wealth over time. In my theoretical paper(s) I vouch for bringing property class analysis back to life to account for the rising importance of wealth. Lastly, I also study the cultural processes in the maintenance of inequality. Using media data, I am interested how frames and narrations around deservingness and legitimacy with regards to wealthy business owner help to maintain high levels of inequality.

My work relies on a multitude of different methodological approaches such as the analysis of large-scale comparative household survey (panel) data or media data, employing mostly decomposition techniques, survey experimental studies, panel regressions, quantile regressions, and structural equation modeling.

Download my full CV here.

Journal articles

Ungleicher Besitz. Perspektiven einer klassensoziologischen Untersuchung von Vermögen

Nora Waitkus  (2023). Berliner Journal für Soziologie. 1-37.

Paper Code

Wealthy Business Owners and the Legitimization of Inequality in the Press

Nora Waitkus and Stefan Wallaschek (2022). Social Justice Research. 35: 404–435.


The Wealth Inequality of Nations

Fabian Pfeffer and Nora Waitkus (2021). American Sociological Review, 86 (4): 567– 602.

Paper   Working Paper   Code

Investigating the Gender Wealth Gap across Occupational Classes

Nora Waitkus and Lara Minkus (2021). Feminist Economics, 27(4): 114-147.

Paper   Working Paper

Comparing Child Wealth Inequality across Countries

Fabian T. Pfeffer and Nora Waitkus (2021). RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 7(3): 28-49.

Paper   Code

Property, wealth, and social change: Piketty as a social science engineer

Mike Savage and Nora Waitkus (2021). British Journal of Sociology, 72: 39–51.


Statuskonkurrenzen und soziale Spaltungen. Zur Dynamik sozialer Ungleichheiten

Olaf Groh-Samberg, Nepomuk Hurch and Nora Waitkus (2018). WSI-Mitteilungen, 71(5): 347-357.


Editorial work

Introduction: Wealth, Inequality and Redistribution in Capitalist Societies

Lierse, Hanna, Patrick Sachweh and Nora Waitkus (ed.) (2022). Social Justice Research, 35: 367–378.


Dynamiken sozialer Ungleichheit

Olaf Groh-Samberg, Nepomuk Hurch and Nora Waitkus (ed.) (2018) WSI-Mitteilungen, 71(5). 346-346.


Articles in edited volumes

The Space of Economic and Cultural Capital: A Latent Class Analysis for Germany

Nora Waitkus and Olaf Groh-Samberg (2019). In: Blasius, J. et al. (ed.): Empirical Investigations of Social Space. Springer: 81-97.


Beyond Meritocracy: Wealth Accumulation in the German Upper Classes

Nora Waitkus and Olaf Groh-Samberg (2018). In: Korsnes, O. et al. (ed.): New Directions in Elite Studies. Routledge: 198-220.