Research Summary

My research advances theories and methods for network analysis and causal inference with applications to studying inequality and social policy (e.g., immigration, education, housing, and redistributive policy), health (e.g., peer effects, networked interventions, perceived risk, and pandemic preparedness), and organizations.

Regarding network analysis, my research has developed theories and methods for causal network analysis (including critical reviews of current methods, a design-based instrumental variable approach, a study on the statistical properties of the directionality test, a special experimental design, i.e., randomization of peer behaviors through social network-based interventions, multilevel meta network analysis, and joint modeling of neighborhood and network effects), 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 a Bayesian model to account for self- and alter- reporting biases), 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 or unfold social science insights (e.g., politicized pandemic behaviors and racialized pandemic consequences) to help improve pandemic preparedness.

Research Interests 

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes

Network Analysis

Causal Inference

Inequality and Social Policy



Software and Code (>143K Downloads)