Dobbin holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. With Alexandra Kalev, he developed an evidence-based approach to diversity management, studying both the effects of corporate diversity programs on actual workforce diversity, and the effects of workforce diversity on corporate performance. For 2014-15, he was on sabbatical working on a study of institutional discrimination among the faculty in academia, and the college and university reforms that can counter discrimination to promote faculty diversity. In other work, he studies the role of shareholder-value management practices in the growth of corporate corruption and malfeasance.