The causes and consequences of inequality operate at multiple levels of analysis. How do different forms of inequality work together to create these consequences, from the global to the individual? This question motivates my research in the areas of health, economic development, political economy, inequality, and stratification. I investigate it through my research on health disparities and the political economy of macrostructural context. I also have working papers that focus on global stratification in foreign aid allocation and stratification of political attitudes in the United States.
Health disparities are not solely the result of an aggregation of the individual’s characteristics and resources, such as class and status. Such disparities exist in a complex milieu of place and time and thus, warrant an empirical approach that accounts for the variation of inequalities in these contexts. My dissertation, Health Disparities in Global Context: Income Inequality, Economic Development, and Resource Gradients, explores how different forms of inequality impact health from the global to the individual level, across place and time. My first chapter, “Income Inequality and Population Health: A Global Gradient?” appears in Journal of Health and Social Behavior. In it, we find that income inequality has a deleterious impact on population health in low- and middle-income countries with no effect in high-income countries.
I am also interested in how integration into a social network impacts health outcomes. In collaborative work published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, we explore the health-promoting effects of a mobile social network intervention for cancer survivors. Our results suggest that different channels of communication (e.g., blog, chat, etc.) attract distinct types of users. We also see an association between channel membership and more time spent engaging with coping skill exercises.
I received a University of California, Riverside Healthy Campus Initiative grant to explore the campus experiences of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with invisible disabilities. A project description is here.
The Political Economy of Macrostructural Context
This research draws on the sociological literature from income inequality, globalization, immigration, redistribution, and automation. One paper (with Ronald Kwon) appears in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. In the article, we consider competing explanations for the link between immigration and native support for redistributive policies. The key finding is that a country’s multicultural policies moderate an association between immigration and native support for certain types of redistributive policies. Another paper (with Matthew C. Mahutga and Anthony Roberts) also appears in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. In it, we present a novel dataset for use with Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) data that links occupations to measures of routine task intensity (RTI), or technological change, and offshorability (OFFS), or globalization. This public good will allow comparative sociologists to explore the drivers of occupational stratification and their relationship to inequality. Please see Selected Publications and Data for information about how to access this dataset.