Health and Aging I am especially interested in two lines of health and aging research –the first seeks to understand how early-life conditions affect later-life outcomes, while the second evaluates the impact of public policies on household members’ well-being and behaviors.
Along the first line, I study how early life marriage market conditions and household structures affect later life mortality risks. My work co-authored with Cameron Campbell (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) investigates the effect of early life co-residence with paternal grandparents on mortality risks in adulthood and older age using registration data from historical China (Demography, 2018). Using the same data, my work co-authored with Hui Zheng (Ohio State University) investigates the effect of sex ratio at sexual maturity on later life mortality risks (Social Science & Medicine, 2018).
Along the second line, I have investigated the causal effect of a recent change in Chinese divorce laws on household members' well-being, adopting a quasi-experimental study design (PAA Annual Meeting, 2018). I also have work on the spillover effect of the husband's retirement on the wife's health, exploiting the legal retirement age in China as a natural experiment.
Modelling Trajectories and Life Transitions My work on Bayesian multistate life tables (MSLT) with Scott Lynch (Duke University) seeks to extend the method developed by Lynch and Brown (2005) by allowing for complex, high-dimensional state spaces (PAA Annual Meeting, 2018). An applied work following this methodological piece demonstrates geographical variations in the impact of type 2 diabetes on population health in the United States.
I also worked with Justin Max on developing a Bayesian approach to estimating group-based trajectory models. We focused on the development of Bayesian estimation procedures for the group-based single trajectory and dual trajectory models with normally distributed outcomes, and draw on recent advancements on Bayesian model averaging in finite mixtures of regressions to provide an efficient variable selection method for GBTMs.
Aside from modeling individual life trajectories, I am also interested in modeling trajectories of population demographic processes by examining cohort patterns. I am a member in Kenneth Land’s (Duke University) team on evaluating Age-Period-Cohort (APC) models (American Journal of Sociology, 2016). With Hui Zheng (Ohio State University), Claire Yang (UNC-Chapel Hill), and Kenneth Land (Duke University), I applied APC methods to investigate racial disparities in cohort patterns of overall and cause-specific mortality in the United States (PAA Annual Meeting, 2017). I have also examined the cohort patterns of educational disparities in fertility levels and timing among Generation Xers in the United States (PAA Annual Meeting, 2018).
Stratification and Inequality I have work on the patterns and consequences of inter- and intra-generational mobility. My work co-authored with Nan Dirk de Graaf (University of Oxford) examines the association of both inter- and intra-generational social mobility with happiness in China (Sociological Science, 2016). My work co-authored with James Lee (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) investigates the association between parental industrial sector and children’s choice of major in China after 1949. In a working project with Xi Song (University of Chicago) and Kenneth Land (Duke University), we focus on income dynamics over the individual’s life course and examine the association of income trajectories across generations in the U.S (PAA Annual Meeting, 2017).