I am Associate Professor of Sociology, and faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI), Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), and Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at Columbia University.
My research focuses on social stratification and inequality, with primary emphasis on (1) how migration intersects with sociopolitical processes to shape inequalities in receiving and origin societies, and (2) how social and demographic processes influence political development, especially in Chinese society. Within these general areas, I have engaged a range of research fields in labor markets, collective action, health, families and children, gender, and social capital. I have pursued this research agenda from a comparative perspective, using data from a wide range of settings and sometimes directly comparing different contexts. My work seeks to demonstrate how studies of migration and social phenomena in comparative context can inform and expand general theories that are largely drawn from experiences of dominant population groups and from Western societies.
My research has been funded by three grants from the National Science Foundation, two grants from the National Institutes of Health (including a K01 Career Development Award), and grants from the Russell Sage Foundation and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. I have also collaborated with a team of international scholars to develop and conduct a national survey on the effect of migration on children in China.
In press Lu, Yao, and Ran Tao. “Organizational Structure and Collective Action: Lineage Networks, Semi-autonomous Civic Associations, and Collective Resistance in Rural China.” American Journal of Sociology.
In press Lu, Yao, Julia Wang, and Wen-Jui Han. “Women’s Employment Trajectories in the First Year Following Birth: Patterns, Determinants, and Variations by Race/Ethnicity and Nativity.” Demography.
In press Lu, Yao, Wenjuan Zheng, and Wei Wang. “Migration and Popular Resistance in Rural China: Wukan and Beyond.” The China Quarterly.
2016 Kaushal, Neeraj, Yao Lu, Nicole Denier, Julia Shu-Huah Wang, and Stephen Trejo. “Immigrant Employment and Earnings Growth in Canada and the U.S.: Evidence from Longitudinal Data.” Journal of Population Economics 29:1249-1277.
2015 Lu, Yao. “Internal Migration, International Migration, and Physical Growth of Left-Behind Children: A Study of Two Settings.” Health & Place 36:118-126.
2015 Lu, Yao, and Ran Tao. "Female Migration, Cultural Context, and Son Preference in Rural China." Population Research and Policy Review 34(5):665-686.
2015 Kaushal, Neeraj, and Yao Lu. “Recent Immigration to Canada and the United States: A Mixed Tale of Relative Selection.” International Migration Review 49(2):279-522. [Equal authorship]
2014 Lu, Yao. “Parental Migration and Education of Left-behind Children: A Comparison of Two Settings.” Journal of Marriage and Family 76:1082-1098.
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 Introductory Social Data Analysis I
G4075 Introductory Social Data Analysis II
G4270 Seminar on Social Demography
G4271 Seminar on Contemporary Chinese Society