Pierre-Antoine Chauvin, former PhD student in sociology and demography at INED

Pierre-Antoine Chauvin, former PhD student in sociology and demography at INED, was awarded two prizes for his thesis, entitled “L’administration de l’attente: politiques et trajectoires de relogement des families sans domicile à Paris” [Administering the wait: government policies for the housing of homeless families in Paris and applicant trajectories]: the PUCA Prix spécial de thèse sur la ville 2021 (awarded by France’s “Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture” government department), and the Prix de Recherche Caritas 2021. Catherine Bonvalet (INED) and Pascale Dietrich-Ragon (INED/Centre Maurice Halbwachs) were Chauvin’s thesis supervisors. 

How long did you work at INED and on what research projects?

I was hosted at INED from 2012 to 2020 in the Housing, Spatial Inequalities and Trajectories research unit, which works on the issue of poor housing conditions. My thesis was funded jointly by the City of Paris, through the CIFRE program (Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche), and INED. It analyzes the regulating of waiting lists to access public housing and the impact of that regulation on homeless persons’ residential trajectories. If I had to sum up my objectives in a few words, I’d say that I was trying to find out which homeless people obtain social housing, over how much time, and in what way. To do this I spent six years following the trajectories of a cohort of 769 families of immigrant descent housed in Paris hotels at the time. 

What path led you to INED?

I was studying for the competitive qualifying exams in government administration at the Rennes Institut d’Études Politiques when I realized that I was more interested in administration as a social phenomenon than as my professional future. In fact, I wanted to study how administration worked in the framework of public policy implementation, especially implementation of housing policies. The head housing office where I’d done an internship to complete my IEP de Rennes study program agreed to fund my thesis project. I then contacted Pascale Dietrich-Ragon, who had done her own CIFRE-supported thesis a few years earlier at the City of Paris semi-public housing company (SIEMP). I then obtained the support of Catherine Bonvalet, my future thesis supervisor, and Eva Lelièvre, head of the INED research unit at the time, for a lasting research stay at INED. During my years of thesis work at the Institute, I trained in quantitative methods at the Statistical Methods Department and through regular contact with statisticians contracted to work with INED research units. INED is one of the few institutions today that offer PhD students the material and financial means they need to successfully conduct and complete their research. 

Do you continue to work with INED researchers now?

I’m currently a post-doctoral researcher at the DREES [Government department of research, evaluation, and statistics], a department of France’s Ministry of Solidarity and Health. I continue to be a member of the INED research unit in this capacity, and to participate in the team’s scientific activities. My postdoctoral work is continuous with my thesis, which focused on the conditions in which homeless people manage to obtain ordinary housing. In my new research, I’m doing what’s called a long series analysis (1983-2021) of the DREES’ quadrennial surveys of the organizations and services in France for assisting adults and families in difficulty, notably with housing needs (ES-DS). 

(Interview conducted January 2022)