Yao Lu

Yao Lu

Assistant Professor
+1 212 854 2963
614 Knox
Office Hours: 
By appointment
Areas of Interest: 
Migration and Immigration, Social Stratification, Child Development, Quantitative Methodology

Ph.D., UCLA, 2008

Biographical Note: 

 Lu’s research focuses on how migration and immigration intersects with social and economic processes across diverse contexts. She conducts comparative research using large-scale social surveys and a variety of quantitative methods. Her recent and ongoing projects include the following:

1. Comparative research on the causes and consequences of migration and immigration. This includes both cross-national comparisons, and comparisons between internal migration and international migration. This line of research is funded by NSF, NIH, and the Russell Sage Foundation.

(1) How does migration affect the well-being of children who migrate and who are left behind by their parents, and how does the impact vary by the type of migration and across different sociocultural contexts?

(2) How do patterns of immigrant selection and assimilation and progress of the second generation vary in the U.S. and Canada, and how are the differences explained by immigration and integration policies?

(3) How is the social process of Chinese international migration to the U.S. and Europe conditioned by distinct sending and receiving contexts?

2. Understanding the role of migration in social and political change in migrant-sending areas.

(1) How does the feminization of migration reconfigure gender attitudes and values in migrant-sending communities, and how is this process shaped by cultural context?

(2) How does large-scale outward migration shape collective action and political attitudes in origin communities, and what are the mechanisms accounting for the political consequences of migration?

(3) A related project examines the roles of civic and social groups in the occurrence and outcomes of collective action in non-democratic countries such as China.

3. Linking migration and child development. This strand of research is supported by a NICHD K01 grant.

(1) What are the impacts of migration on the health and development of migrant children and left-behind children, and how do critical factors and contexts mediate and moderate the effects of migration?

(2) What are the new forms of families resulting from migration, and how do they affect child development?

(3) In collaboration with colleagues, Lu is conducting a national survey on internal migration and children in China.


Publications (peer-reviewed)

Lu, Yao, Zai Liang, and Miao Chunyu. Forthcoming. “Emigration from China in Comparative Perspective.” Social Forces.

Lu, Yao, and Feng Wang. 2013. “From General Discrimination to Segmented Inequality: Migration and Inequality in Urban China.” Social Science Research 42(6):1443-1456.

Lu, Yao, Danching Ruan, and Gina Lai. 2013. “Social Capital and Economic Integration of Migrants in Urban China.” Social Networks 35(3):357-369.

Lu, Yao. 2013. “Household Migration, Remittances, and Their Impact on Health in Indonesia.” International Migration 51: 202-215.

Lu, Yao, and Hao Zhou. 2013. “Academic and Psychological Well-being of Migrant Children in China: School Segregation and Segmented Assimilation.” Comparative Education Review 57(1):85-166.

Treiman, Donald J., Yao Lu, and Yaqiang Qi.  2012.  “New Approaches to Demographic Data Collection.”  Chinese Sociological Review 44(3):56-92.

Lu, Yao. 2012. “Education of Children Left Behind in Rural China.” Journal of Marriage and Family 74(2):328-341.

Lu, Yao, Peifeng Hu, and Donald J. Treiman. 2012. “Migration and Depressive Symptoms in Migrant-Sending Areas: Findings from The Survey of Internal Migration and Health in China.” International Journal of Public Health 57(4):691-698.

Lu, Yao. 2012. “Household Migration, Social Support, and Psychosocial Health: The Perspective from Migrant-Sending Areas.” Social Science and Medicine74:135-142.

Lu, Yao and Donald J. Treiman. 2011. “Migration, Remittances, and Educational Stratification among Blacks in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Social Forces 89(4):1119-1144.

Lu, Yao. 2010. “Mental Health and Risk Behaviors of Rural-Urban Migrants: Longitudinal Evidence from Indonesia.” Population Studies 64(2):147-163.

Lu, Yao. 2010. “Rural-urban Migration and Health: Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Indonesia.” Social Science and Medicine 70(3): 412-419.

McCarthy, William, Ritesh Mistry, Yao Lu, Minal Patel, and Hong Zheng, and Barbara Dietsch. 2009. “Could Density of Geocoded Tobacco Retailers near Schools Influence Risk of Students Smoking?” American Journal of Public Health 99(11):2006-2013.

Lu, Yao. 2009. “Sibship Size, Family Organization, and Education in South Africa: Black-White Variations.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 27(2):110-125.

Mistry, Ritesh, William McCarthy, Antronette Yancey, Yao Lu, and Minal Patel. 2009. “Resilience and Patterns of Health Risk Behaviors in California Adolescents.” Preventive Medicine 48(3):291-297.

Li, Li, Zunyou Wu, Sheng Wu, Manhong Jia, Eli Lieber, and Yao Lu. 2008. “Impacts of HIV/AIDS Stigma on Family Identity and Interactions in China.”  Families, Systems and Health 26(4):431-442.

Lu, Yao and Donald J. Treiman. 2008. “The Effect of Family Size on Educational Attainment in China: Period Variations.” American Sociological Review 73(5):813-834.

Lu, Yao. 2008. “Test of the ‘Healthy Migrant Hypothesis’: A Longitudinal Analysis of Health Selectivity of Internal Migration in Indonesia.” Social Science and Medicine 67(8):1331-1339.

Lu, Yao. 2007. “Educational Status of Temporary Migrant Children in China: Determinants and Regional Variations.” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 16(1):29-55.

Grusky, Oscar, Hongjie Liu, Xiaojing Li, Aimee-Noelle Swanson, Naihua Duan, Yibin Zhu, Erjian Ma, and Yao Lu. 2006. “Is Voluntary Counseling and Testing of Drug Users in China Feasible?” International Journal of STD and AIDS 17(5):354-355.

Treiman, Donald J., William M. Mason, Yao Lu, Yi Pan, Yaqiang Qi, and Shige Song. 2006. “Observations on the Design and Implementation of Sample Surveys in China.” Social Transformations in Chinese Societies 1(1):81-101.



V3212                         Statistics for Social Research

V3243                         China Today: Change, Inequalities, and Social Life

G4074/4076                Introductory Social Data Analysis I

G4075/4077                Introductory Social Data Analysis II

G4270                         Social Demography