PSC congratulates these trainees as they transition to their next professional life chapter.
Research: cultural and social contexts of family and fertility
Research: Health insurance, health economics, public health, and fertility, contraception, and sexual behavior
Research: race and ethnicity, education, inequality, and social policy
Research: the political causes and consequences of socioeconomic and racial disparities in health
Research: crime and the criminal justice system, prisoner reentry, neighborhood environments, poverty and inequality, and policy development and implementation
Research: Social, structural, and biopsychological determinants of mental health outcomes in minority populations, particularly in relation to trauma exposure, traumatic stress, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Research: Stratification, poverty, public opinion, research methodology
Research: economic development and economics of family
Mentor: Yu Xie
Research: Demography, life course, development, globalization, China, social stratification, quantitative methods, social psychology
Research: housing markets, household balance sheets, and consumption.
Research: Labor Economics, Development Economics, Economic Demography
Research: labor economics, antipoverty policy evaluation, and determinants of poverty and income inequality
Research: the impact of education, income, subjective socioeconomic status, race, and gender on health and well-being particularly in later life
Developmental Thinking and the Individual Life Course
My dissertation research is driven by an interest in understanding the worldwide convergence toward the Western life course model, such as prolonged education, late marriage, neolocal residence, and low fertility. I am particularly interested in the role of the idea of societal development in facilitating such behavioral changes. The three chapters of my dissertation examine, respectively, the international prevalence and diffusion of developmental thinking, its influences on attitudes toward family matters, and higher education in the presence of alternative adulthood engagements.
The first chapter of my dissertation assesses the degree of consensus on national developmental hierarchies perceived by individuals in eight culturally diverse countries. Using data from the Developmental Idealism project, I find substantial similarities among respondents’ evaluations of different countries’ levels of development. In general, respondents’ evaluations strongly conform to the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), and such conformity is positively associated with one’s educational attainment and the number of international organizations in one’s country. I draw on the world society theory and argue that, through formal education and international association, the world culture script of national development (as represented by HDI) gives rise to a standardized worldview at the individual level. While developmental thinking has been well documented at the nation-state and organizational level, this paper is the first study of its prevalence and diffusion at the individual level. The implication is that, as common people around the world agree on which countries are more developed, social attributes of those countries are likely to be endorsed and adopted.
In the second chapter of my dissertation I investigate the influence of developmental thinking on family matters in the context of contemporary China. Specifically, I ask if the endorsement of development leads to the endorsement of certain family attributes that are believed to be common in more developed countries. Using data from a DI survey in Gansu Province, China, I ascertain that positive views of development increase the likelihood of endorsing neolocal residence, self-choice marriage, gender equality, and fewer children. Furthermore, these positive effects are robust in the presence of local Islamic beliefs, which operate in the opposite directions. In this study, I apply a version of the expectancy-value model in psychology to articulate how the formation of various family values hinges on the unifying idea of development.
I end my dissertation with a historical analysis of Chinese adulthood higher education (AHE). While direct progression from secondary to tertiary education was never universally successful, many who missed their first opportunities managed to resume higher education at older ages. This chapter, for the first time, examines Chinese people’s life course dynamics in AHE enrollment. Using life history data from Chinese General Social Survey 2003, I found that while marriage and parenthood reduced the likelihood of AHE enrollment, employment had a positive effect, which went beyond simple life course logics and found an institutional explanation in work-based state sponsorship (i.e., affiliations with Party/government agencies and state-owned professional services, cadre leadership, and Party membership). Furthermore, certain institutional effects became stronger in the context of educational expansion during the post-1978 reform period—a finding consistent with previous research on China’s institutional changes as well as the “maximally maintained inequality” proposition in the literature on educational stratification.
Assistant Professor, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University
Go to as many talks as you can, but remember to graduate.
Having an office at ISR.
Essays on Household Balance Sheets and Consumption
These essays analyze the impact of housing market fluctuations on household balance sheets and the implications this has for household spending decisions. The first chapter, "Housing Market Dynamics" shows the importance of local geography and zoning regulations in determining the dynamics of house prices and construction following a national shock to interest rates. Following an unanticipated reduction in interest rates, house prices rise dramatically in geographically constrained and tightly regulated housing markets whereas unregulated markets with abundant land see little price dynamics and large construction responses. This heterogeneity is exploited in "Household Balance Sheets and Monetary Policy" to identify the propensity to consume out of housing wealth. The paper shows households increase spending by $0.07 for each dollar of house price increase, largely driven by home equity-based borrowing. The third chapter focuses on saving and consumption responses to the housing bubble and bust during the 2000's. Responses are shown to be driven largely by collateral effects for younger households who extract home equity through increased borrowing. This is in contrast to older households who enjoy wealth effects from downsizing housing in retirement.
Starting as an Economist at Federal Reserve Board, Macro Analysis Unit in 9/2014
People really do appreciate the work you put in when you go out and start presenting your work, so keep working hard.
Michigan vs Notre Dame football game under the lights
"Essays on Economics of Crime, Law, and Social Capital"
The Neighborhood Legal Service Program (LSP) was established in 1965 with the goal to change social and political interactions between the poor and the rest of American society. The LSP was introduced to protect the legal right of the poor and grant access to legal recourse by matching lawyers with impoverished clients who previously had limited access to attorneys. But what does this imply for the poor? Did the LSP improve the economic conditions of those living in poverty? Despite the LSP’s grand proclamation of social change through the judicial system by use of federal funds, research over the past 45 years has failed to answer this question. In part this is due to lack of data on the users of the LSP and more so, the lack of convincing measures of the treatment variable - legal service activities.
Starting in September of 2014, I will be an Assistant Professor in Economics at Portland State University.
Enjoy Ann Arbor and take advantage of the many workshops and seminars on campus. Also take time to connect with other scholars and trainees from other fields as well as other resources on campus. The Writing Center and the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research are very useful resources for completing research.
Summers in Ann Arbor are very welcoming and enjoyable. The University of Michigan and the City of Ann Arbor provide free entertainment such as movies and festivals all summer long to enjoy with friends.
Labor search, inequality, and public policy.
Labor markets defy the Walrasian auctioneer: the supply of labor is persistently in excess of demand and otherwise observationally equivalent workers receive different compensation. In response, search-theoretic models of the labor market have been developed and are widely used to evaluate public policy. A key component of such models is the theoretical mechanism used to divide labor rents between an employer and employee and set the wage. Different wage setting mechanisms yield, sometimes radically, different theoretical implications for public policy, market efficiency, returns to experience, and inequality between workers. This dissertation is composed of three chapters which grapple with issues of how the wage setting mechanism is selected, the implications of the wage setting mechanism when interpreting aggregate and cross-sectional data, and the interaction of public policy with the wage setting mechanism.
Starting in September 2014, I will be an economist in the division of Monetary Affairs, Monetary Studies Unit at the Board of Governors of Federal Reserve.
Take advantage of all opportunities to present your work, even at early stages.
Big Heart Big House
Panel Study of Income Dynamics: psychological human capital and mortality with Bob Schoeni Health and Retirement Study: illness as a risk factor for divorce in middle and older ages Americans' Changing Lives: social determinants of health and well-being with Sarah Burgard, others Continuing work on perceived economic position and psychological well-being and physical health; smoking and gender; psychosocial work characteristics and psychological well-being
Assistant Professor, Iowa State University
Enjoy every minute
Bostok pastry from Zingerman's
Social Constructions, Biological Implications: A Structural Examination of Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Subtype
The triple-negative subtype of breast cancer is etiologically and clinically distinct from the more common, less aggressive, and more treatable form of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Numerous population-based studies have found that black women are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop triple-negative breast cancer than white women. Much of the existing research on racial disparities in breast cancer subtype has focused on identifying predisposing biological or genetic factors associated with African ancestry. This approach ignores growing multidisciplinary evidence suggesting that contemporary racial stratification shapes a wide range of environmental and social exposures that can subsequently impact cellular physiology and even gene expression patterns. Geronimus’ weathering hypothesis provides a unique analytic framework through which to consider how psychosocial and environmental stressors may structure the disruption of biological mechanisms according to race. The impact of weathering processes are particularly strong during the young adult through middle ages, where disparities in breast cancer subtype and mortality are especially high. Building upon this framework, my dissertation (1) integrates important findings from stress biology, breast cancer subtype, and health disparity research in the form of a critical literature review, (2) develops an alternative conceptual model for the examination of racial disparities in breast cancer subtype, and (3) tests aspects of the model in two empirical analyses, using a combination of state-wide cancer registry data, block group-level decimal Census and American Community Survey data, individual-level reports of stress and discrimination, and biological measures of stress.
Instructor Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO
As a part of the PSC, take advantage of the opportunity to meaningfully engage with trainees, post-docs, and faculty members from other departments. It sound cliché and is sometimes harder than expected, but it really is one of the best benefits of being a part of the center.
Starting our family here and taking advantage of all of the wonderful kid- and family-friendly activities has really defined our Ann Arbor experience. If I had to name a few specific ones, I would pick walking to the farmers’ market, going to the Natural History Museum, and watching the Michigan Marching Band practice on Friday evenings. We will continue to encourage our kids’ boisterous renditions of “The Victors” for as long as they are willing to listen to us.
Three Essays in Health Economics
This dissertation presents evaluations of three pre-ACA policies resembling ACA reforms. In the first chapter, I use variation across states and over time in state health insurance regulations and health insurance tax subsidies to show that the effect of a tax subsidy similar to the ACA’s tax credits depends on the type on regulations that affect underwriting. I show that people with pre-existing conditions do not respond to tax subsidies in places where they cannot buy health insurance, but that they respond disproportionately in places where they can buy risk-rated health insurance. Most importantly for the ACA, in states in which people with pre-existing conditions face the same premium as healthy people, tax subsidies have no effect on either group. In the second chapter, I use the introduction of a minimum medical loss ratio rule in Michigan to show that a minimum MLR rule results in at least a six percentage point decrease in MLRs among for-profit commercial insurers. The reduction in commercial medical loss ratios was driven by a disproportionate reduction in benefit payments. The findings of this paper suggest that the establishment of a minimum MLR rule can result in unintended consequences. In the third chapter I use quasi-experimental variation in the availability of subsidized pap smears to estimate the effect of pap smears on cervical cancer mortality. I find that large increases in the likelihood of receiving a Pap smear in the last year do not correspond to changes in cervical cancer mortality or incidence. The results suggest that the Pap smear may not have an effect on mortality because the test has low predictive value.
Postdoc Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan starting July, 2014, followed by assistant professor, department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University in January, 2016.
Take study breaks to look out the windows on the 6th floor.
Eating at Frita Batidos
Javier M. Rodriguez, together with his mentors Arline T. Geronimus and John Bound, published the articles “US Infant Mortality and the President’s Party,” “Time Series Analysis and US Infant Mortality: De-trending the Empirical from the Polemical in Political Epidemiology,” and “Politicization with Misrepresentation: On De-trending in Time Series Analysis,” all in the International Journal of Epidemiology. They also received a grant by the Russell Sage Foundation for their project “The Political Origins of Health Inequalities: Political Parties and Infant Mortality.” They are also working (with Timothy Waidmann) on a project titled “The Implications of Differential Trends in Mortality to Social Security Policy.” Rodriguez, Geronimus, and Bound are also working (with Danny Dorling) on an article titled “At Least 2.7 Million African Americans are Missing: Differential Mortality and the Racial Composition of the Electorate.” Rodriguez also worked with Jose A. Tapia Granados on a paper titled “Economic crisis, population health, health care performance, and austerity: A comparison of Greece, Finland and Iceland.” Rodriguez was also awarded a research grant by the Population Studies Center Initiative Fund for his project “The Effects of Racial Disparities in Health and Aging on the Future Racial Composition of the Electorate.”
On the job market.
My mentors Arline Geronimus and John Bound.
Class Structure and Income Inequality in the United States: An Analysis of Trends from 1983 to 2010
Income inequality in America has increased substantially since the early 1980s. Although sociological theory suggests an important impact for social classes on recent changes in income distribution, prior research has largely ignored the link between class structure and growing aggregate income inequality. This study delineates a theory of class based on antagonistic social relations within the workplace and investigates the relationship between class structure and trends in aggregate income inequality from 1983 to 2010. The proposed theory defines four distinct class positions based on unequal ownership and authority relations within production: workers, who are excluded from the means of production and do not control the activities of others; proprietors, who own the means of production and control the activities of workers; managers, who do not own the means of production but have delegated control over the activities of workers; and independent producers, who own and operate small firms by themselves. Growth in aggregate income inequality is affected by (1) changes in between-class income differences, (2) compositional changes in the relative size of different classes, and (3) changes in residual, or within-class, income dispersion. With data from the General Social Survey and the Current Population Survey, this study investigates each of these trends in turn and provides a formal decomposition that evaluates their relative impact on growth in aggregate income inequality. Results indicate that between-class income differences increased by at least 50 percent since the 1980s. This increase was driven by growing incomes for managers and especially proprietors together with stagnating incomes for workers. Results also indicate that, since the mid-1980s, the proportion of workers and independent producers increased, while the proportion of proprietors and managers declined. Finally, a formal decomposition analysis suggests that changes in the relative size of different classes had a small dampening effect and that growth in between-class income differences had a large inflationary effect on trends in aggregate income inequality, particularly during the 1990s.
Asst Prof of Sociology at The University of Toronto
biking and fishing along the Huron river