My research focuses on network analysis and causal inference with applications to studying inequality and social policy (e.g., immigration, housing, education, and redistributive policy), health (e.g., peer effects, perceived risk, social network-based interventions, and pandemic), and organizations.
Regarding network analysis, my research has developed theories and methods for causal network analysis (e.g., by offering critical reviews, a design-based instrumental variable approach, a special experimental design, i.e., randomization of peer behaviors through social network-based interventions, and multilevel meta network analysis), analyzing network formation (e.g., theories on status differential and differential homophily and using mix-effects in ERGMs to model and test them), combing peer-reports and self-reports to improve measurement of sensitive behaviors and network ties (including a detailed framework on informant accuracy), and big and text network analysis (e.g., the “blocking-bridging-stacking” method). Regarding causal inference, I have developed methods for incorporating uncertainties in estimated propensity scores for correct statistical inference of causal effects, combining difference-in-difference with matching for robust causal analysis of panel data, assessing covariate importance in social inequality decomposition through treatment effect deviation, proposing a new multivariate regression model for analyzing outcomes with network dependence, making causal inference with networked treatment diffusion, etc. My work has also applied advanced methods to study the economic impact of restrictive immigration policies, children as a risk factor for eviction, the joint effects of network and neighborhood on youth perceived risk and development of cultural capital, inequality and homophily in adolescent friendship networks, the redistributive policy preference of political elites, the effectiveness of increasing government wages to reduce corruption, etc.
My current projects continue my intellectual pursuits in social networks and health (e.g., measurement, contagion, and interventions) and the intersection of causal inference and network analysis as well as delving into new adventures that examine the economic, political, and health impact of restrictive immigration policies, unfold social science insights (e.g., politicized pandemic behaviors and racialized pandemic consequences) that can help improve pandemic preparedness, etc.
Methods: Network Analysis; Causal Inference; Bayesian Analysis
Applications: Inequality and Social Policy; Health; Organizations
An, Weihua and Shawn Bauldry. 2022. Methodological Advances in Quantitative Social Science. The Social Science Research 50th Anniversary Series (Volumes 107, 108, 109, and 110).
An, Weihua. 2021. New Quantitative Approaches to Studying Social Inequality. Sociological Methods and Research 50(3).
An, Weihua, Matthew Brashears, and Cathryn Johnson. 2020. Social Networks and Social Psychology. Social Psychology Quarterly 83(4).
An, Weihua. 2023. "A Tale of Twin-Dependence: A New Multivariate Regression Model and an FGLS Estimator for Analyzing Outcomes with Network Dependence." Sociological Methods and Research 52(4): 1947-1980.
An, Weihua. 2022. "Comparing Egocentric and Sociocentric Centrality Measures in Directed Networks." Sociological Methods and Research. (Forthcoming) [Replication]
An, Weihua, Roberson Beauvile, and Benjamin Rosche. 2022. "Causal Network Analysis." Annual Review of Sociology 48: 23-41.
An, Weihua. 2022. "You Said, They Said: A Framework on Informant Accuracy with Application to Studying Self-Reports and Peer-Reports." Social Networks 70: 187-197.
An, Weihua. 2022. "Friendship Network Formation in Chinese Middle Schools: Patterns of Inequality and Homophily." Social Networks 68: 218-228.
An, Weihua. 2016. "Fitting ERGMs on Big Networks." Social Science Research 59: 107-119. (Special issue on Big Data in the Social Sciences)
An, Weihua. 2016. "On the Directionality Test of Peer Effects in Social Networks." Sociological Methods and Research 45(4): 635-650.
An, Weihua and Yu-Hsin Liu. 2016. "keyplayer: An R package for Locating Key Players in Social Networks." The R Journal 8(1): 257-268.
An, Weihua. 2015. "Instrumental Variables Estimates of Peer Effects in Social Networks." Social Science Research 50: 382-394.
An, Weihua. 2015. "Multilevel Meta Network Analysis with Application to Studying Network Dynamics of Network Interventions." Social Networks 43: 48-56.
An, Weihua and Long Doan. 2015. "Health Surveillance through Social Networks." Social Networks 42: 8-17.
An, Weihua and Sam Schramski. 2015. "Analysis of Contested Reports in Exchange Networks Based on Actors' Credibility." Social Networks 40: 25-33.
An, Weihua and William McConnell. 2015. "The Origins of Asymmetric Ties in Friendship Networks: From Status Differential to Self-perceived Centrality." Network Science 3(2): 269-292.
An, Weihua. 2011. "Models and Methods to Identify Peer Effects." Pp. 514-532 in The Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis, edited by John Scott and Peter J. Carrington. London: The Sage Publications. (Invited Paper)
An, Weihua and Tyler J. VanderWeele. 2022. "Opening the Blackbox of Treatment Interference: Tracing Treatment Diffusion through Network Analysis." Sociological Methods and Research 51(1): 141–164.
An, Weihua and Adam Glynn. 2021. "Treatment Effect Deviation as an Alternative to Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition for Studying Social Inequality." Sociological Methods and Research 50(3): 1006-1033.
An, Weihua. 2018. "Causal Inference with Networked Treatment Diffusion." Sociological Methodology 48: 152-181.
An, Weihua and Ying Ding. 2018. "The Landscape of Causal Inference: Perspective from Citation Network Analysis." The American Statistician 72(3): 265-277.
An, Weihua and Christopher Winship. 2017. "Causal Inference in Panel Data with Application to Estimating Race-of-Interviewer Effects in the General Social Survey." Sociological Methods and Research 46(1): 68-102. (Special issue on General Social Survey, edited by Michael Hout)
An, Weihua and Xuefu Wang. 2016. "LARF: Instrumental Variable Estimation of Causal Effects through Local Average Response Functions." Journal of Statistical Software 71(1): 1-13.
VanderWeele, Tyler J. and Weihua An. 2013. "Social Networks and Causal Inference." Pp. 353-374 in Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research, edited by Stephen Morgan. New York: Springer. (Invited Paper)
An, Weihua. 2010. "Bayesian Propensity Score Estimators: Incorporating Uncertainties in Propensity Scores into Causal Inference." Sociological Methodology 40: 151-189.
Inequality and Social Policy
Browne, Irene, Weihua An, Daniel Auguste, and Natalie D. Deckard. 2023. "Race, State Surveillance, and Policy Spillover: Do Restrictive Immigration Policies Affect Citizen Earnings?” Social Forces 102(2): 681-705.
An, Weihua and Bruce Western. 2019. "Social Capital in the Creation of Cultural Capital: Family Structure, Neighborhood Cohesion, and Extracurricular Participation." Social Science Research 81: 192-208.
An, Weihua and Maoliang Ye. 2017. "Mind the Gap: Disparity in Redistributive Preference between Political Elites and the Public in China." European Journal of Political Economy 50: 75-91.
An, Weihua and Yesola Kweon. 2017. "Do Higher Government Wages Induce Less Corruption? Cross-Country Panel Evidence." Journal of Policy Modeling 39(5): 809-826.
Yuan, Yue and Weihua An. 2017. "Context, Network, and Adolescent Perceived Risk." Social Science Research 62: 378-393.
Desmond, Matthew and Weihua An. 2015. "Neighborhood and Network Disadvantage among Urban Renters." Sociological Science 2: 329-350.
Desmond, Matthew, Weihua An, Richelle Winkler, and Thomas Ferriss. 2013. "Evicting Children." Social Forces 92(1): 303-327.
An, Weihua and Shawn Bauldry. 2022. "Methodological Advances in Quantitative Social Science: In Celebration of the Social Science Research 50th Anniversary." Social Science Research 110. (Introduction to the Special Series)
An, Weihua. 2021. "Fear Not Scarcity but Inequality, Not Poverty but Instability." Sociological Methods and Research 50(3): 939-943. (Introduction to the Special Issue)
An, Weihua, Matthew Brashears, and Cathryn Johnson. 2020. "The Nearness between Us, and the Space within Ourselves." Social Psychology Quarterly 83(4): 315–318. (Introduction to the Special Issue)
Software and Code (>137K Downloads)
An, Weihua. 2023. "DIDMatch: Combing Difference-in-Difference and Matching for Robust Causal Inference in Panel Data Analysis." Stata Code. [Reference Paper]
An, Weihua. 2021. "fglsnet: A Feasible Generalized Least Squares Estimator for Regression Analysis of Outcomes with Network Dependence." An R package available on CRAN. [Reference Paper]
An, Weihua and Yu-Hsin Liu. 2015. "keyplayer: Locating Key Players in Social Networks." An R package available on CRAN. [Reference Paper]
An, Weihua. 2014. "Credibility: Addressing Contested Reports in Exchange Networks Based on Actors' Credibility." R code to implement the methods proposed in An and Schramski (2015).
An, Weihua and Xuefu Wang. 2013. "LARF: Local Average Response Functions for Instrumental Variable Estimation of Treatment Effects." An R package available on CRAN. [Reference Paper]
An, Weihua, Huizi Xu, and Zhida Zheng. 2013. "IUPS: Incorporating Uncertainties in Propensity Scores." An R package available on CRAN. [Reference Paper]