Research Summary

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 on smoking, 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), for analyzing network formation (e.g., theories on status differential and differential homophily), for combing peer-reports and self-reports to improve data measurement (including a comprehensive framework on informant accuracy), and for 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 combining difference-in-difference with matching, for assessing covariate importance through treatment effect deviation, for causal inference with networked treatment diffusion, for analyzing outcomes with network dependence, 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 perceived risk, participation in extracurricular activities, and other outcomes, inequality and homophily in friendship networks, the redistributive policy preference of political elites, the effectiveness of increasing government wages to reduce corruption, etc. My current projects examine the economic, political, and health effects of restrictive immigration policies, politicized and racialized pandemic behaviors and consequences, and social networks and health (e.g., measurement, contagion, and interventions).

To date, I have published 29 peer-reviewed research articles at top journals, of which I am the first author for 24 times. I have also released multiple statistical software for public use, which have received over 133K downloads in total. My collaborative projects have received over 8.5 million dollars of funding. I have served or am serving on the editorial boards of five top academic journals and have edited several special issues at top journals.

Research Interests 

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes

Network Analysis

Causal Inference

Inequality and Social Policy


Software and Code (>133K Downloads)