Nancy Luke photo

Nancy Luke

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Faculty Affiliate, Population Studies and Training Center

Brown University

204 Maxcy Hall
112 George Street
Providence, Rhode Island USA 02912
401-863-2243 phone
401-863-3213 fax

Nancy Luke

Research Interests

Social demography; social and economic exchange; family and gender; sexual, reproductive, and child health; migration and remittances; Africa and South Asia

Brief Bio

Dr. Luke is a social demographer whose research focuses on the role that social relationships play in shaping health and development outcomes in developing countries. In particular, she studies the exchange of resources within familial relationships, including bargaining between spouses over the allocation of household resources in India and the exchange of psychosocial and economic support between migrant children and their families of origin in Kenya. With respect to nonfamilial relationships, she examines the exchange of money and gifts within nonmarital sexual partnerships (often referred to as "transactional sex") in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Luke's recent work concerns important health issues, such as sexual behavior and HIV risk, marital violence, son preference, and child nutrition.

Dr. Luke's research is interdisciplinary, incorporating theoretical and methodological insights from sociology, economics, anthropology, and public health. She has designed and directed several large-scale surveys as well as conducted qualitative studies in Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam. In support of her research, Dr. Luke has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the World Bank, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Dr. Luke's research appears in American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Population Studies, Population and Development Review, Journal of Marriage and Family, Demographic Research, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Development Economics, Studies in Family Planning, and Violence Against Women among other journals and edited volumes.


Research Projects