Lingxin Hao

Lingxin Hao


PhD, University of Chicago

Mergenthaler 509
On Leave - Fall 2020
Curriculum Vitae

I am Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University. My areas of interest are social inequality, migration, family and public policy, sociology of education, and quantitative and computational methods. My research tests hypotheses developed from sociological theories using advanced methodology and national longitudinal survey data. I received a Bachelor's in English at South China Normal University and a Master's in Sociology at Sun Yat-sen University, both in China, and a PhD in Sociology in 1990 from the University of Chicago. I was a postdoc fellow at RAND's Labor and Population Program, and Assistant and Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Iowa. I have been in the Sociology Department at Hopkins since 1996.

My research areas include social inequality, migration, family and public policy, sociology of education, and quantitative and computational methods. I have examined topics such as poverty, income, consumption, wealth, and health inequality among families and individuals as well as academic, cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral development of children in the United States. I have extended this line of research from the US to China. My conceptual approach is to seek the causal factors from social structure, policy context, and physical environment and the causal processes at the macro, meso, and micro levels. I address research questions by testing theory-derived hypotheses using advanced quantitative and computational methodology and large-scale, nationally representative, repeated cross-sectional or panel survey data as well as administrative and big data. Below, I describe my current projects.

  1. Wealth and Educational Inequality in the United States

Building on my previous work on wealth inequality (Hao, 1996 Social Forces paper; 2004 International Migration Review paper, 2007 book Color Lines, Country Lines), my current project on wealth and educational inequality examines the role of educational debt burden in the persistent racial and ethnic wealth gap and differences between native- and foreign-born Americans. The substantial Black-White wealth gap has persisted over generations; the large Hispanic-White wealth gap has continued over the past decades with a sharp rise during the last recession. Given the college education premium in the growing knowledge economy and the rising cost of a college degree, educational debt burden reflects the key processes of the intergenerational wealth constraint on the ability to pay for college education, the eligibility for student loans, and the ability to repay the loans after completing or dropping out of college. The longer the repayment process, the harder it is to accumulate wealth. This project utilizes data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 2014 and 2018 panels and sophisticated modeling.

  1. Inequality in employment relations and consequences for life chances in the United States

Expanding my previous research on employment inequality (Hao & Brinton 1997 American Journal of Sociology paper; Hao et al., 2004 Journal of Policy Analysis and Management paper; Hao 2013 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies paper), my current NSF-funded research (2020-2023) examines the inequality in job mobility and consequences for life chances. This collaborative project encompassing sociology, economics and applied mathematics aims to understand the underlying structural forces of the transforming employment relations in the knowledge-based, service-heavy, and globalized labor market. Research questions include: What are the latent clusters of granular occupations and industries characterizing jobs that differentially shape the precarity of jobs at both ends of workers’ skills? Whether and how immigrants displace native-born workers via internal migration and job mobility? Our interdisciplinary team is developing graph-theory principled inferential network modeling for massive employment relations that will detect latent network structures on the worker-side and the job-side of the two-sided labor market. The data sources include large-scale panel surveys such as Current Population Survey (CPS) over 12 months, Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) over 48 months, and the administrative-based population-wide data, the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) over 80 quarters.

  1. Social Inequality Factors and COVID-19 Outcomes

My previous studies on population health (Hao & Johnson Research on Aging paper; Hao & Kim, International Migration Review paper; and collaborative research on health 2018, 2019, 2020) have prepared me to co-lead a project on pre- and during-pandemic social inequality factors and COVID-19 outcomes. As the Director of the Hopkins Population Center, I have worked with the Data Hub team to establish and update a COVID dataset at the county daily level with an emphasis on socioeconomic, demographic, state policy, human mobility, and healthcare and health disparities before and during the COVID-19 course. This study aims to identify whether social, economic, healthcare inequality and policy biases significantly differentiate the COVID-19 burden over the daily pandemic course.

  1. Social Factors and Consequences of Accelerometry Physical Activities

Objective measures of health behaviors such as physical activities via wearable devices are a significant advancement in the study of social factors and consequences of accelerometry physical activities. I have been working with data scientists in the Biostatistics Department to apply data science methods to social science studies of wearable device data. Our first project examines how occupations shape workers’ levels and intensities of physical activities using actigraph data on a nationally representative sample of regular day-time full-time working-age adults during work hours from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES).

  1. Housing Reform and Changing Housing Inequality in Urban China

 My previous work on China’s labor force, migration and education under the rapid social transformation and changing policy environment conducted statistical analysis and agent-based modeling (ABM) based on first-hand, large-scale, longitudinal surveys – China Education Panel Survey (CEPS) and China Labor-force Dynamics Survey (CLDS).  Hao and collaborators (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020) established a solid foundation to launch a project that examines the short- and long-term effects of the urban housing reform in China that took place at the turn of the millennium on housing inequality in 2003 and 2014. Placing the urban housing reform in the larger backdrop of marketization, urbanization, migration and the fundamental social structure of the hukou system, we analyze data from a 2014 nationally representative survey. We ask whether the housing reform differentiated the original urban population into winners and non-winners. We further ask whether the housing reform had a spillover effect by reviving the housing market. In particular, we examine how the hukou system, housing reform and rural-urban migration interact to marginalize rural-urban migrants in urban China.

Current and Previous Grants within 5 years

Hao, Lingxin (Co-Principle Investigator). 2020-2023. “Methods and Applications for Massive One-mode and Bipartite Social Networks.” National Science Foundation (NSF). SES1951005 (PI: Angelo Mele). ($549,592)

Hao, Lingxin (Principle Investigator). 2014-2020. “Research Infrastructure for the Hopkins Population Center.” National Institute of Health (NIH) R24HD042854-13.

Hao, Lingxin (Principle Investigator). 2015-2017. “Agent-Based Modeling of Internal Migration.” National Institute of Health (NIH) R21. ($438,709)

Hao, Lingxin (Principle Investigator). 2013-2016. “Student Migration and Education Segregation.” National Science Foundation (NSF). ($348,666)


  • 230.202 Research Methods for the Social Sciences (undergraduate)
  • 230.317 Sociology of Immigration (undergraduate)
  • 230.322 Quantitative Research Practicum (undergraduate)
  • 230.362 Migration & Development (undergraduate; co-taught with Prof Agarwala)
  • 230.605 Categorical Data Analysis (graduate)
  • 230.609 Dissertation Seminar
  • 230.615 Panel Data Analysis (graduate)
  • 230.617 Seminar on Immigration (graduate)
  • 230.618 Introduction to Computational Social Science (graduate)

Selected Articles in Referred Journals

Hao, Lingxin and Zhang, Dong. 2020. “China’s College Expansion and the Timing of College-to-Work Transition: A Natural Experiment.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 688, 93-114.

Thakkar, Madhuli, Hao, Lingxin, and Marcell, Arik. 2019. “Adolescents' and Young Adults' Routine Care Use: The Role of Their Mothers' Care Use Behaviors.” Journal of Adolescent Health, 64(1), 107–115.

Olapeju, Bolanle, Saifuddin, Ahmed, Guoying Wang, Guoying, Ji, Yuelong, Hong, Xiumei, Raghavan, Ramkripa, Summers, Amber, Keiser, Amaris, Ji, Hongkai, Zuckerman, Barry, Yarrington, Christina, Lingxin Hao, Surkan, Pamela J, Cheng, Tina L, and Wang, Xiaobin. 2018. “Maternal Postpartum Plasma Folate Status and Preterm Birth in a High-Risk US Population.” Public Health Nutrition, doi:10.1017/S1368980018003221.

Fu, Zhaohao and Hao, Lingxin. 2018. “Agent-Based Modeling of China's Rural-Urban Migration and Social Network Structure.” Physica A, 490, 1067-1075.

Hao, Lingxin, Alfred Hu, and Jamie Lo. 2014. “Two Aspects of the Rural-Urban Divide and Educational Stratification in China: A Trajectory Analysis.” Comparative Education Review 58(3):509-536.

Hao, Lingxin. 2013. “Admission-Group Salary Differentials in the United States: The Significance of Labor Market Institutional Selection of High-Skilled Workers.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 1337-1360.

Hao, Lingxin and Han Soo Woo. 2012. “Distinct Trajectories in the Transition to Adulthood: Are Children of Immigrants Advantaged?” Child Development 83(5):1623-1639.

Hao, Lingxin2012. “Cumulative Causation of Rural Migration and Initial Peri-Urbanization in China.” Chinese Sociological Review 44(3):6–33.

Hao, Lingxin and Julie J. H. Kim. 2009. “Immigration and American Obesity Epidemic.” International Migration Review 43(2):237-262.

Hao, Lingxin and Suet-ling Pong. 2008. “The Role of School in Upward Mobility of Disadvantaged Immigrants’ Children.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 620(1):62-89.

Hao, Lingxin, V. Joseph Hotz and Ginger Z. Jin. 2008. “Games Parents and Adolescents Play: Risky Behavior, Parental Reputation, and Strategic Transfers.” Economic Journal 118:515-555.

Hao, Lingxin, Nan M. Astone and Andrew J. Cherlin. 2007. “The Effects of Stringent Child Support and Welfare Policies on Non-marital, Teenage Childbearing.” Population Research and Policy Review 26(3):235-257.

Pong, Suet-ling and Lingxin Hao. 2007. “Neighborhood and School Factors in the School Performance of Immigrants’ Children.” International Migration Review 41(1):206-241.

Hao, Lingxin and Ross L. Matsueda. 2006. “Family Dynamics through Childhood: A Sibling Model of Behavior Problems.” Social Science Research 35:500-524.

Hao, Lingxin, Nan M. Astone and Andrew J. Cherlin. 2004. “Adolescents’ School Enrollment and Employment: Effect of State Welfare Policies.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 23:697-721.

Porter, Laura, Lingxin Hao, David Bishai, David Serwadda, Maria J. Wawer, Thomas Lutalo, Ronald Gray, and The Rakai Project Team. 2004. “HIV Status and Union Dissolution in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Rakai, Uganda.” Demography 41(3):465-482.

Hao, Lingxin and Andrew J. Cherlin. 2004. “Welfare Reform and Teenage Pregnancy, Childbirth, and School Dropout.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66:179-194.

Hao, Lingxin. 2004. “Wealth of Immigrant and Native-Born Americans.” International Migration Review 38:518-546.

Hao, Lingxin. 2003. “Public Assistance and Private Support for Immigrant Families.” Journal of Marriage and Family 65:36-51.

Hao, Lingxin and Yukio Kawano. 2001. “Immigrants’ Welfare Use and Opportunity for Coethnic Contact.” Demography 38:375-389.

Hao, Lingxin and Melissa Bonstead-Bruns. 1998. “Parent-Child Difference in Educational Expectations and Academic Achievement of Immigrant and Native Students.” Sociology of Education 71:175-198.

Hao, Lingxin and Mary C. Brinton. 1997. “Productive Activities and Support Systems of Single Mothers.” American Journal of Sociology 102(5):1305-1344.

Hao, Lingxin. 1997. “Using a Multinomial Logit Specification to Model Two Interdependent Processes with an Empirical Application.” Sociological Methods and Research 26(1):80-117.

Hao, Lingxin. 1996. “Family Structure, Private Transfers, and the Economic Well-Being of Families with Children.” Social Forces 75(1):269-292.


Hao & Zhang, 2020, the Supplementary Table

Hao & Naiman, 2007, Quantile Regression, Stata code and data files