Richard Williams, Notre Dame Sociology

About Richard Williams

Richard Williams is Associate Professor and a former Chairman of the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1986. His teaching and research interests include Methods and Statistics, Demography, and Urban Sociology. His work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Social Problems, Demography, Sociology of Education, Journal of Urban Affairs, Cityscape, Journal of Marriage and the Family, The Stata Journal and Sociological Methods and Research.

American homeownership has long been characterized by racial, ethnic, and geographic inequality. Inequality in home ownership, in turn, has contributed to racial and class segregation and inequality in other aspects of American life. For several years, Richard Williams has been examining the causes of this inequality in a project entitled "Racial, Economic and Institutional Disparities in Home Mortgage Lending." In particular, he looks at how characteristics of financial institutions and government policies affect lending to low income and minority markets. With the assistance of grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Science Foundation, this research has gradually evolved from a small community service project into studies of St. Joseph County, the state of Indiana, and, most recently, the entire nation. Dr. Williams warned about the dangers of subprime lending years before it helped create a crisis in home mortgage markets and the global economy. Williams received the 2003 Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D. Faculty Community-Based Research Award for this work.

Recent work by Williams has also looked at issues involving the analysis of categorical data. He notes that assumptions of heterogeneity and proportionality are often violated in commonly used logit and ordered logit models. He discusses how heterogeneous choice models and generalized ordered logit models provide potential solutions to these problems. He is the author of the Stata programs gologit2 and oglm that make the estimation of these models possible. In his work he also shows how the use of adjusted predictions and marginal effects can be major aids in interpreting the results from categorical models. He won the 2015 Stata Journal Editors' Prize for his work in these areas.

Previous research by Williams has looked at fertility attitudes and behavioral consistency, interracial friendship in schools, married couple decision making, and methodological issues in the analysis of husband-wife data.

For more on Richard Williams, see his web site at

Selected Publications

Allison, Paul D., Richard Williams and Enrique Moral-Benito. 2017. Maximum Likelihood for Cross-lagged Panel Models with Fixed Effects. Socius 3: 1-17. Available at

Williams, Richard & Lutz Bornmann. 2016. "Sampling Issues in Bibliometric Analysis." Journal of Informetrics 10(4), 1225-1232.

Williams, Richard. 2016. "Understanding and Interpreting Generalized Ordered Logit Models." Journal of Mathematical Sociology 40(1).

Williams, Richard. 2012. "Using the margins command to estimate and interpret adjusted predictions and marginal effects." The Stata Journal 12(2):308-331. Available on the World Wide Web at .

Williams, Richard. 2010. "Fitting Heterogeneous Choice Models with Stata." The Stata Journal 10(4):540-567. Available on the World Wide Web at

Williams, Richard. 2009. "Using Heterogeneous Choice Models To Compare Logit and Probit Coefficients Across Groups." Sociological Methods and Research 37(4):531-559. A pre-publication version is available on the World Wide Web at .

Bond, Carolyn and Richard Williams. 2007. "Residential Segregation and the Transformation of Home Mortgage Lending." Social Forces 86(2):671-698. Reprinted in Gallagher, Charles A. (Ed.) 2008. Racism in Post-Race America: New Theories, New Directions. Chapel Hill, NC: Social Forces Publishing. Pp. 197-212.

Williams, Richard. May 2006. "Alternative Assessments of GSE Performance, Influence and Impact." In December 2007 an edited version of this 83 page report was electronically published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on its web site and is available at

Williams, Richard. 2006. "Generalized Ordered Logit/ Partial Proportional Odds Models for Ordinal Dependent Variables." The Stata Journal 6(1):58-82. Available on the World Wide Web at

Williams, Richard, Reynold Nesiba and Eileen McConnell. 2005. "The Changing Face of Inequality in Home Mortgage Lending." Social Problems 52(2): 181-208.

Williams, Richard, Eileen McConnell and Reynold Nesiba. 2001. "The Effects of the GSEs, CRA, and Institutional Characteristics on Home Mortgage Lending to Underserved Markets." Cityscape V. 5 no 3: 9-106. Available on the World Wide Web at