The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy is now open.  Our office hours are from: 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Please refer to the COVID-19 Resource Guide for all matters related to the return to campus.  All visitors and vendors must fill out the Columbia University Health Screening Form.  We look forward to seeing you on campus.


Yao Lu

Associate Professor of Sociology



I am Associate Professor of Sociology, and faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI), Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), and Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at Columbia University.

My research focuses on social stratification and inequality by primarily examining (1) the social and political development in contemporary China, and (2) how migration intersects with micro- and macro-level social and political processes to shape inequalities in destination and origin societies. Within these general areas, my work connects to a range of research areas in labor markets, health, families and children, gender, social capital, and collective action. It seeks to demonstrate how studies of social change in China and of migration can inform the general sociological theories in these areas that are largely drawn from Western societies and from the experiences of dominant population groups.

I have pursued this research agenda from an international and comparative perspective, with a special focus on the Chinese society. I have collaborated with a team of international scholars to develop and conduct a national survey on the effect of migration on children in China. My research has been funded by several grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (including a K01 Career Development Award), the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation.


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