Yao Lu

Yao Lu

Assistant Professor
+1 212 854 2963
614 Knox
Office Hours: 
By appointment
Areas of Interest: 
Migration and Immigration, Social Stratification, Families and Children, Collective Action, Quantitative Methods

Ph.D., UCLA, 2008

Biographical Note: 

Lu’s research focuses on how migration shapes inequality and various social and political processes for different segments of populations involved in migration. She conducts international and comparative research using large-scale social surveys. Her research has been funded by five grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Her recent and ongoing projects include:

1. Comparative research on the causes and consequences of migration and immigration.

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

(2) How do patterns of immigrant selection and assimilation vary in the U.S. and Canada? 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 transformations in migrant-sending areas.

(1) How does the feminization of migration reconfigure gender values in origin communities? How is this process conditioned by cultural context?

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

(3) A related project examines the roles of organizations with distinct structural characteristics in both the occurrence and success of collective action in non-democratic settings.

3. Linking migration and child development (supported by a NICHD K01 award).

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

(2) What are the new forms of families resulting from immigration? 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)

In press   Lu, Yao. “Parental Migration and Education of Children Left-behind: A Comparison of Two Settings.” Journal of  Marriage and Family.

In press   *Kaushal, Neeraj, and Yao Lu. “Recent Immigration to Canada and the United States: A Mixed Tale of Relative Selection.International Migration Review. [*Equal authorship]

2014        Lu, Yao, and Lijian Qin. “Healthy Migrant and Salmon Bias Hypotheses: A Study of Health and Internal Migration in China.” Social Science and Medicine 102:41-48.

2013        Lu, Yao, Zai Liang, and Miao Chunyu. “Emigration from China in Comparative Perspective.” Social Forces 92(2):631-658.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012        Lu, Yao, Peifeng Hu, and Donald J. Treiman. “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.

2012        Lu, Yao. “Household Migration, Social Support, and Psychosocial Health: The Perspective from Migrant-Sending Areas.” Social Science and Medicine 74:135-142.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008        Lu, Yao. “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.

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

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

2006        Treiman, Donald J., William M. Mason, Yao Lu, Yi Pan, Yaqiang Qi, and Shige Song. “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