Yao Lu

Yao Lu

Biographical Notes

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), Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), and Data Science Institute (DSI) at Columbia University.

My research focuses on social stratification and inequality, with a 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. Within these general areas, I have engaged a range of research fields in labor market inequality, collective action, health, families and child development, and gender. I have pursued this research agenda from a comparative perspective, using data from multiple settings and directly comparing different contexts. 

My research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (including a K01 Career Development Award), the Russell Sage Foundation, and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. I have also collaborated with a team of international scholars to conduct a national survey on migration and families and children in China. 



In Press        Lu, Yao, Qian He*, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. “Diverse Experience of Immigrant Children:        How Do Separation and Reunification Shape Their Development?” Child Development.

In Press         Lu, Yao, Jean Wei-Jun Yeung, Jingming Liu, and Donald J. Treiman.“Migration and Children's Psychosocial Development in China: When and Why Migration Matters.” Social Science Research.

2018               Qin, Lijian, Wei Wang*, and Yao Lu. “The Working and Living Conditions of College-educated Rural Migrants in China.” Asian Population Studies14(2):172-193.

2017               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 12(6): 1726-74.Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award, Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section, American Sociological Association

2017               Lu, Yao, Julia Wang*, and Wen-Jui Han. “Women’s Short-Term Employment Trajectories Following Birth: Patterns, Determinants, and Variations by Race/Ethnicity and Nativity.” Demography54(1):93-118.

2017               Lu, Yao, Wenjuan Zheng*, and Wei Wang*. “Migration and Popular Resistance in Rural China: Wukan and Beyond.” The China Quarterly229:1-22.

2017               Lu, Yao, Nicole Denier*, Julia Shu-Huah Wang*, and Neeraj Kaushal. “Unhealthy Assimilation or Persistent Health Advantage? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Health in the United States.” Social Science & Medicine195:105-114.

2017               Lu, Yao, Neeraj Kaushal, Nicole Denier*, and Julia Shu-Huah Wang*. “Health of Newly Arrived Immigrants in Canada and the United States: Differential Selection on Health.” Health & Place48:1-10.

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 Economics29:1249-1277.

2015               Lu, Yao, and Ran Tao. "Female Migration, Cultural Context, and Son Preference in Rural China." Population Research and Policy Review34(5):665-686.

2015               Lu, Yao. “Internal Migration, International Migration, and Physical Growth of Left-Behind Children: A Study of Two Settings.” Health & Place36:118-126.

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:                                               Comparison of Two Settings.” Journal of Marriage and Family76:1082                                   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 Medicine102:41-48.

2013               Lu, Yao, Zai Liang, and Miao Chunyu. “Emigration from China in Comparative Perspective.” Social Forces92(2):631-658.

2013               Lu, Yao, Danching Ruan, and Gina Lai. “Social Capital and Economic Integration of Migrants in Urban China.” Social Networks35(3):357-369.

2013               Lu, Yao, and Feng Wang. “From General Discrimination to Segmented Inequality: Migration and Inequality in Urban China.” Social Science Research42(6):1443-1456.

2013               Lu, Yao, and Hao Zhou. “Academic Achievement and Loneliness of Migrant Children in China: School Segregation and Segmented Assimilation.” Comparative Education Review57(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 Review44(3):56-92.

2012               Lu, Yao. “Education of Children Left Behind in Rural China.” Journal of Marriage and Family74(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 Health57(4):691-698.

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

2011               Lu, Yaoand Donald J. Treiman. “Migration, Remittances, and Educational Stratification among Blacks in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Social Forces89(4):1119-1144.

2010               Lu, Yao. “Mental Health and Risk Behaviors of Rural-Urban Migrants: Longitudinal Evidence from Indonesia.” Population Studies64(2):147-163.

2010               Lu, Yao. “Rural-urban Migration and Health: Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Indonesia.” Social Science and Medicine70(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 Health99(11):2006-2013.

2009               Lu, Yao. “Sibship Size, Family Organization, and Education in South Africa: Black-White Variations.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility27(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 Medicine48(3):291-297.

2008               Lu, Yaoand Donald J. Treiman. “The Effect of Sibship Size of Educational Attainment in China: Period Variations.” American Sociological Review73(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 Medicine67(8):1331-1339.

2007               Lu, Yao. “Educational Status of Temporary Migrant Children in China: Determinants and Regional Variations.” Asian and Pacific Migration Journal16(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 AIDS17(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.



2018               Lu, Yao. “Parental Migration and the Well-being of Children Left Behind from A Comparative Perspective.” Chapter 5 in Parenting from Afar: The Reconfiguration of the Family Across Distance, edited by Maria Guzman, Jill Brown, and Carolyn Edwards. Oxford University Press. 

2016               Lu, Yaoand Alice Tianbo Zhang*. “The Link between Migration and Health.” Chapter 2 in Handbook of Migration and Health. Eldward Elgar.

2012               Treiman, Donald J., Yao Lu, and Yaqiang Qi. “New Approaches to Demographic Data Collection”. Pp. 398-454 (Chapter 13) in Demography, edited by Zai Liang. Beijing: People’s University Press. [in Chinese]

2009               Shen, Anan, Wang Feng, and Yao Lu. “Earnings and Expenditures among Migrants and Urbanites in Shanghai.” Pp.60-90 in Migration and the Remaking of Shanghai, edited by Danching Ruan. Beijing: Xuelin Publication House. [in Chinese]