2022 Job Market Candidates

John Burnett, PhC University of California, Riverside Political Science

Dissertation Abstract: Measures of identity generally rely on self-identification, which can be problematic when many people falsely claim an Indigenous heritage. Indigenous scholars argue that Indigenous identity is generally composed of many characteristics, including tribal citizenship, connections to a tribal community and culture, and the recognition of tribes as legal entities with unique cultures and histories. This paper develops a theoretical argument for the complexities of Indigenous identity and develops an argument for operationalizing an existing theory of Indigenous identity developed by Kiowa scholar Perry G Horse.


2019 Job Market Candidates

P.C. Peay, PhC University of Oklahoma, Political Science

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Peay is a PhD Candidate at the University of Oklahoma, studying American Politics and Public Policy. His studies concentrate on the impacts of race across American political institutions, how minority inclusion and incorporation shape the policymaking process at the federal and state level, and how traditionally underrepresented populations are impacted by policy. He also has a substantive interest in electoral policy and their impacts on the shape of the American electorate.


Stephen Omar El-Khatib, PhC University of California, Riverside, Political Science

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El-Khatib is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Riverside, studying political science. His research primarily focuses on the politics of race, immigration, and ethnicity through the lenses of behavioral and comparative politics. More specifically, his existing and continued work evaluates discrimination, public policy, and political psychology.



2017 Academic Job Market Candidates who specialize in research about the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity. (updated as of October 13, 2017)

Lisa Beard, PhD University of Oregon, Political Science

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Lisa Beard is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside, with a research focus in race, gender, and sexuality politics and political thought. Beard is currently working on a book manuscript on race and political identification based on dissertation research that was recently selected for APSA’s 2017 Best Dissertation Award in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Published work can be found in Contemporary Political Theory and in the forthcoming edited volume A Political Companion to James Baldwin.

Dissertation: “Our People Are Worth The Risk”: Race, Identification, And The Formation Of Political Community

When civil rights organizer Ella Baker asked the question, “Who are your people?,” she was issuing not only the geographical question “where do you come from?” but also the political question “with whom do you identify?” (Ransby, 2003). This question of identification as a political act is likewise registered by anticolonial feminist philosopher María Lugones, who insists that, “we must constantly consider and reconsider the question: “Who are our own people?” (2003; see also Hames-Garcia, 2011) and by Black feminist theorist Audre Lorde, who in one public address asks herself how she is “complicit in the subjugation of any part of those who I call my people?” ([1982] 1984; see also Hong, 2016). This presentation draws upon Baker, Lugones, and Lorde to register identification as a political practice, then brings this theoretical discussion to bear on work by the contemporary social movement organization Southerners On New Ground, a twenty five year old antiracist LGBTQ organization based in the U.S. South.

Ultimately, the presentation offers an account of the ways in which practices of identification are deeply political acts, and argues that struggles over identification are a primary site of politics. In other words, the target of organizing by political actors is too narrowly conceived when it is imagined to be merely about winning particular elections, policy outcomes, or representation. Rather, a central object of political contest is the meaning and structure of forms of identification themselves.

M. Apolonia Calderon, PhD Candidate Texas A&M University, Political Science

Apolonia Calderon is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on examining the role of nonprofits as mediating institutions and their influence local policy outcomes, specifically immigration outcomes. Calderon’s dissertation is supported by the Carlos H. Cantu Education and Opportunity Endowment at Texas A&M University and the Latino Center for Leadership Development at SMU. In April 2017, Apolonia was awarded the MPSA Latina/o Caucus Best Graduate Student Paper.

Dissertation: Who’s Going to Build Your Wall?: Examining Non-Governmental Influences on Immigration Enforcement

With the implementation and enforcement of public policy, public bureaucracies exist within an open system environment where public policy outcomes “result from the interaction of political actors within an environment that constrains their choices” (Meier 1994, 5). Policy outcomes have not and will not ever be the sole result of the bureaucratic forces. As such, this dissertation focuses on answering the question: how do non-governmental institutions influence public policy outcomes? Each chapter will focus on how different non-governmental institutions acting within the policy environment influence the local and federal outcomes of Secure Communities from 2008 through 2014. The first chapter focuses on understanding the influence of language congruence between street-level enforcement and local policy targets. As language is a unifying connector between social groups, what is the effect of bilingualism on local immigration enforcement? The second chapter moves from representative bureaucracy to study the influence of philanthropic efforts on local and federal immigration policy outcomes. As both foundations and nonprofits create social citizenship for immigrants, how does this social citizenship affect the enforcement of Secure Communities? The final chapter seeks to evaluate how the implementation of Secure Communities altered the effectiveness of the federal immigration bureaucracy. This dissertation uses a newly constructed data set that brings together policy outcomes at the local and federal level with data from the third sector, bureaucracy, and community.

Kristen Carroll, PhD Texas A&M University, Political Science

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Dr. Kristen Carroll is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. She teaches Quantitative Methods in Public Management and Social Welfare and Health Policy. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University. She earned her doctorate from the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University. During her time at Texas A&M University, Dr. Carroll was awarded the College of Arts Vision 2020 Fellowship Award and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Merit Fellowship. Her research is focused on issues that relate to racial minorities and female public administrators and on improving minority client outcomes and public program accessibility. Much of her research is focused in the area of education policy and race. In September 2017, Dr. Carroll was awarded the Paul Volcker Junior Scholar Research Award by the American Political Science Association Public Administration Section. Dr. Carroll’s work has appeared in The American Review of Public Administration and Politics, Groups, and Identities.

Dissertation: When Representatives Work: The Influence of Local Context on Minority Representation

Using data from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, the Project for Equity, Representation and Governance (PERG) Social Capital Project, and the PERG National School Survey this dissertation project explored how the economic, social, and political context of school districts would detrimentally affect minority teacher representation and minority student performance. In the first chapter the author analyzed how an organization’s financial environment mediates the relationship between minority teachers and minority student performance. The findings indicate that as more resources are allocated to the technical or instructional core of the district, minority teachers increase minority gifted and talented participation and decrease minority student expulsions. The second chapter explores the influence of civic engagement or social capital on minority student opportunities and bureaucratic efficiency. The results indicate that minority representatives positively affect students’ outcomes when working in minority communities with greater social capital. The final chapter compared the substantive influence of top-down and bottom-up political pressure on minority teachers. The results indicate that bureaucrats of different minority groups respond to different political pressures. The results of this project provide important implications for future educational equity as it explains how a school district’s context may disrupt the positive effects of representation.

Youssef Chouhoud, PhD Candidate and Provost’s Fellow, University of Southern California, Political Science and International Relations

Youssef studies political attitudes and behavior, survey methodology, and comparative democratization. His research elaborates the determinants of core democratic norms by examining understudied groups and contexts. His dissertation advances the comparative study of political tolerance by expanding the, as yet, limited set of inferences drawn from 1) emerging democratic environments, and 2) minority populations in established democracies. Youssef’s fieldwork and data collection has been generously supported through USC’s Research Enhancement Fellowship, an APSA-MENA Workshop alumni grant, and the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research.

Dissertation: The Changing State of Tolerance and Tolerance in Changing States

Through original surveys, innovative analysis of extant data, in-depth interviews, and experimental methods, I explore the dynamics of political tolerance in the United States, Egypt, and Tunisia. My dissertation features three key contributions. First, leveraging original survey data on American Muslims, I theorize and test how intolerance manifests differently between the general public and minorities. I demonstrate the heightened role of egocentric threat in motivating the latter’s tolerance judgments, with the implication being that the burdens of democratic citizenship in this regard are asymmetrically distributed throughout American society. Second, using Arab Barometer data, I devise a novel measure of political tolerance that allows for the first test of whether intolerant attitudes in the Middle East are conditional or invariable, thereby providing insight into the prospects for democratic consolidation in the region. Third, I experimentally assess the pliability of tolerance judgments in Tunisia, offering the first such analysis in the MENA and one of only a few set in an emerging democracy. My study thus helps us better understand the factors that augment or impede the expression of tolerance when, arguably, it matters most.

Nicole Filler, PhD candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara, Political Science

Dissertation: Gendered Struggles for Social Justice: Asian American Activism and Resistance in Early 21st Century Los Angeles And Las Vegas

A growing number of scholars note the increasing disparities that characterize much of the U.S. democratic process in the early 21st century and maintain that local community-based organizations, particularly those that address issues facing intersectionally marginalized communities, are key to eradicating the multiple inequalities embedded within U.S. social, political, and economic institutions.  Yet not much is known about the individuals who become politicized in this process and the possibilities of advancing social justice through local progressive community-based organizations within the early 21st century American context.  This dissertation proposes the concept of social justice citizenship to explain the sources and contours of community-based activism that challenges multiple, intersecting inequalities.  The state of Asian America is a particularly ideal case to examine social justice citizenship given its relatively recent and uneven histories of racialized, gendered, and panethnic community formation and activism, rapid transformation and growth in the post-1965 era, the persistent but paradoxical view of Asians as both the “model minority” and “yellow peril.”  My own identities as a mixed-race Asian American woman and political scientist also provide a unique opportunity to peek into these complexities.  Using in-depth interviews of active members of local community-based organizations and participant observation, my findings demonstrate the importance of stories of personal transformation and everyday relationships as well as the significance local institutional contexts in shaping pan-Asian community-centered oppositional acts against multiple inequalities.

Andrew Janusz, PhD candidate, University of California, San Diego, Political Science

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Dissertation: Race And Representation: An Analysis Of Brazil

Scholars recognize racial identities as socially constructed, yet they are commonly treated as fixed. This paper explores the conditions under which individuals do change their race. Using data from Brazil’s 2014 federal and 2016 municipal elections, I show that over 25% of political candidates who competed in both elections strategically changed their publicly-professed race from one election to the next. I demonstrate that variation in the racial composition of the electorate and electoral rules impacts how politicians “choose” to racially identify themselves. Moreover, I present evidence that politicians’ physical characteristics limit constrain racial categories they claim membership in. These findings suggest that political actors strategically change their publicly-professed race to maximize their likelihood of winning elected office.

Hakeem Jefferson, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan, Political Science

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Hakeem Jefferson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He specializes in American politics, and in particular the politics of race and ethnicity, political psychology, political communication, and public opinion. Hakeem’s dissertation project won the Center for Political Studies’ Garth Taylor Fellowship, awarded annually to a student whose work focuses broadly on public opinion research. In 2014, he was awarded the John Kingdon Teaching Award from the Department of Political Science. In the winter of 2018, he will co-host a university-wide symposium on race and inequality for which he and his colleague, Steven Moore, fundraised nearly $20,000.

Dissertation: Policing Norms: Punishment and the Politics of Respectability among Black Americans

Despite near-homogeneity in party identification and high levels of expressed attachment to their in-group, black Americans differ in their attitudes toward a range of policy questions. Perhaps most puzzlingly, many within the group support punitive social policies that disproportionately target and affect the lives of fellow group members. To date, this heterogeneity in black public opinion, particularly as it relates to this domain of issues, has been underappreciated by scholars of American politics. My dissertation project presents a theoretical framework that connects the politics of respectability—an insistence on proper comportment and good behavior from in-group members—with black attitudes toward punitive social policies. To test this relationship between respectability and black public opinion, I develop a measure of the concept and test its validity and meaningfulness using a convenience sample from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and a high-quality sample using data drawn from YouGov’s panel. Findings suggest that respectability relates to feelings of group-based shame and authoritarianism and that it plays a significant role in structuring black attitudes about punishment. Moreover, the dissertation lays the groundwork for a research agenda focused on understanding the meaningfulness of social identity threats on the politics of stigmatized groups.

Melina Juárez, PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico, Political Science

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Dissertation: Linked Fate, Latinidad, And Sexuality: Testing Intragroup Connectedness Beyond Race

Although it is now a mainstream term used to describe people of Latin American origin residing in the United States, the origins, meaning, and purpose of the term “Latino” continues to incite sociopolitical discussions and epistemological debates. Scholars such as Cristina Beltran (2010) have argued that Latinidad (being Latino or Latina) is a political project within the grander scheme of democratic politics in the United States. The aim of such a project is to create one homogenous bloc of constituents allowing for easier targeting by both politics and policy (Espiritu 1992). The process of Latinizing a tremendously heterogeneous group of people involves the softening or blurring of the edges of differences among them. This blurring has led to the erasure or subversion (intended or not) of important facets of identity including indigeneity, language, ethnicity, history, and culture. Along with this, and the focus of this project, is the erasure (again intended or not) of sexuality and how this subversion of identities impacts perceptions of linked fate and ultimately public opinion on LGBTQ rights.

Utilizing the 2016 CMPS, I estimate a series of ordered logits to analyze how knowing someone who is LGBTQ impacts feelings of linked fate with the LGBTQ community among Latinxs and how this ultimately impacts support for gay rights. Results suggest that knowing someone who is LGBTQ as well as age, education, and nativity status all impact LGBTQ linked fate. Additionally, higher levels of LGBTQ linked fate increase support for gay rights activism and decrease support for a Constitutional ban on gay marriage. These findings point to the salience of contact in influencing feelings and perceptions towards marginalized groups. These results also challenge assumptions that sexism and homophobia are inherent parts of Latinidad.

Ayobami Laniyonu, PhD Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles, Political Science

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Ayobami Laniyonu studies Racial and Ethnic Politics, American Politics, and Statistical Methodology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is completing a Ph.D. in Political Science and a M.S. in Statistics. His research agenda explores urban and suburban policy in a comparative framework, and how policy affects political behavior, especially among racial and ethnic minorities. His dissertation looks specifically at urban and suburban police policy, their effects on voting and candidate choice, and how minority political elites in the United States and Britain have responded to the development of punitive policing practices. His research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Bar Foundation, and the Law and Society Association, and he is a Doctoral Fellow in residence at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, IL (Fall 2016 – May 2108).

Dissertation: Policing, Place, And Political Participation: How Municipal Political Economy Affects Local Police Practices And Political Behavior

A growing literature now identifies the negative impact that incarceration and felon disenfranchisement have on political participation, especially for racial and ethnic minorities. My dissertation builds on this literature, and attempts to characterize the relationship between policing, urban governance, and political behavior, taking New York City as a paradigmatic case study. Mobilizing a broad range of data sources, it first identifies the powerful role that gentrification exerts on the spatial intensity of punitive policing practices like Stop and Frisk policing. Turning then to the political consequences of these practices, it subsequently demonstrates how they can negatively impact voter turnout, especially in majority-minority neighborhoods. Further analysis suggests, however, that these policing practices can be contested by communities disproportionately impacted by them, and characterizes how community based organizations and unions in New York City successfully affected the outcome of the 2013 Mayoral election, and thereby policing practices in the city. Arguing that these dynamics are not necessarily particular to the United States my work also explores these dynamics in a set of British municipalities, and uncovers important similarities in the relationship between race, urban change, punitive policing, and political demobilization. Implications for the study of urban and criminal justice policies, race, and political behavior are discussed.

Danielle Casarez Lemi, PhD University of California Riverside, Political Science

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Lemi is a post-doctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University, where she works with the Latino Center for Leadership Development and the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. Broadly, her work is situated in American race and ethnic politics and political behavior. She examines how people with various identities use race to evaluate minority candidates, particularly multiracial and racially ambiguous candidates. Her work has been published in Politics, Groups, and Identities, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, the Qualtrics Behavioral Research Grant, the APSA Latino Scholarship Fund, and the William A. Steiger Fund for Legislative Politics through the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs. Lemi currently has a R&R at Research & Politics.

Dissertation: The Consequences of Multiracial Identification for Candidates and Elected Officials

This multi-method dissertation is the first to investigate how race and identity operate for multiracial elites in the United States. Research on minority elites often makes assumptions that multiracial elites, who have become more visible in politics, may bring into question. Does multiracial identification matter for the politics of elites? I explore media coverage of multiracial elected officials, test whether multiracial candidates have an electoral advantage, and explore how once elected, multiracial legislators view their identities. I argue that the politics of multiracial officials depends on their specific racial backgrounds, not just their multiracial status. I find evidence that non-Black multiracial elites have freedom to assert their identities in ways not available to multiracial-Black elites, suggesting that the American historical context of anti-miscegenation and the one-drop rule still has ramifications for minority elites today. This research has implications for campaign and coalition strategies.

Raul Madrid, PhD Candidate, Claremont Graduate University, Political Science

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Raul Madrid Jr. is a doctoral candidate at Claremont Graduate University, where he studies American Politics, Public Policy, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, and state and local politics. His research investigates the role of state-level media in the public policy process, and how media outlets within the states come to shape opinions on policy items, especially as they relate to underrepresented groups.

Dissertation: The Media and Immigration: Evaluating the Role of the Media in Policy Preference Formation and Legislative Outcomes

This dissertation investigates how the media influences policy preferences and outcomes related to immigration at the state-level in light of ongoing demographic shifts. Understanding how the media affects public policy at the state-level is crucial yet often overlooked in the extant literature. Coming to terms with this subject is important, especially at a time of increased policymaking by state legislatures. For example, in 2008, only 2 states enacted an immigration measure (10 total bills); yet, by 2010, 47 states enacted at least one policy (215 in total). To better understand this phenomenon, this dissertation first examines the tone of over 16,000 newspaper articles published by news outlets from each of the 50 states, seeking to determine how the tone of news coverage changes depending on demographic shifts. It then seeks to better understand how tone and demographics influence policymakers’ decisions to enact immigration policies within their states by analyzing how the tone of coverage affects legislative activity, specifically when demographics are changing within the state. Finally, through a survey experiment, the dissertation hones in on how the tone of media coverage alters opinions on immigration policy, especially when the news focuses on the presence of immigrants within the state. This dissertation focuses on an underdeveloped area of research on state and local politics, and makes a unique contribution to both American Politics and Public Policy.

Michael Nicholson, PhD Candidate, University of California, San Diego, Political Science

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Dissertation: Weaving Invisible Threads: Immigrants’ Identities, Interests, And Host-Country Political Participation

My dissertation asks why immigrants participate non-electorally at different rates—through, for example, petitions, boycotts, volunteering, and protests—even when they face common institutional, economic, and linguistic barriers. To answer this question, I develop and test a new theory linking immigrants’ identities to political participation across diverse integration contexts. Analyzing data from interviews as well as an original, multilingual survey of 613 first-generation Italian, Kurdish, and Turkish immigrants in 3 Swiss cantons with highly diverse integration policies, I make several conclusions. First, many immigrants perceive shared fate— a sense that their life chances are tied to those of others. Moreover, I find that immigrants perceiving shared fate with other foreigners as a collective group (pan-immigrant shared fate), as well as Muslim immigrants perceiving shared fate with their co-religionists, may be more likely than others to engage in Swiss politics. These findings hold across my entire sample, suggesting that shared fate may be an important driver of immigrant political incorporation across a range of European settings. To my knowledge, this is the first comparative study of immigrants’ shared fate in Europe and the first to investigate the effect of pan-immigrant identities on participation.

Angela X. Ocampo, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles, Political Science

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Ocampo studies American Politics, Race, Ethnicity and Politics, and Methodology. Her research agenda explores how racial, ethnic and religious minorities become politically incorporated both as every-day participants and as political leaders within American institutions. Ocampo’s dissertation is supported by the University of California Institute for Mexico and the U.S. (UC MEXUS), the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, UCLA’s Political Psychology Fellowship and APSA’s Fund for Latino Scholarship. Angela is also the recipient of multiple awards including the WPSA Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the Best Conference Paper, the Swarr Prize for the Best Graduate Student Paper at UCLA’s Department of Political Science and the MPSA Latina/o Caucus Best Graduate Student Paper. Her research has been published in Political Research Quarterly.

Dissertation: The Politics of Inclusion: A Sense of Belonging and Latino Political Participation

This dissertation investigates how a sense of belonging or lack of belonging to U.S. society influences political interest and engagement among Latinos. To date, there have been few inquiries that investigate perceived social belonging or lack of belonging to U.S. society and the political ramifications of these predispositions. To address this puzzle, this project develops a novel theoretical framework and original measure of social belonging to understand how feelings of membership to the broader U.S. society are at the core of the political incorporation process for racial, ethnic and religious minorities. This multi-method project relies on original survey and experimental data as well as in-depth interviews to determine (1.) what factors influence Latinos to have varying perceptions of social inclusion, and (2.) under what conditions do perceptions of inclusion or exclusion either catalyze or depress political engagement. The findings demonstrate that after accounting for demographics, socioeconomic factors, and other traditional predictors of political behavior, a sense of belonging is a unique and independent driver of political interest and various forms of political engagement among Latinos. The results indicate that perceptions of belonging to U.S. society, as well as perceptions of respect and being valued by other Americans, are significant drivers of Latino political engagement. This dissertation builds on existent theories of political behavior as it presents a novel framework and a new measure to understand political engagement not only among Latinos but also among other racial, ethnic and religious minorities.

Kristina Piorkowski, PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico, Economics

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Dissertation: Evaluating the Impact of Preferences, Knowledge, and Race/Ethnicity on the Willingness to Pay for a Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax in New Mexico

Using primary survey data representative of New Mexico’s adult population, we use a hypothetical referendum to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for a sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) tax in New Mexico, a state marked by high rates of obesity and a history of failed SSB taxes. We examine the roles that eating habits; knowledge and awareness around food and related policies; attitude; and race/ethnicity have both directly and indirectly on the preferences for SSB taxes. Traditional contingent valuation regression methods were reformulated as a three-equation simultaneous model to address issues of protest responses and endogeneity. Results indicate that respondents who have healthier eating habits have statistically significantly higher preferences for SSB taxes. Race/ethnicity was not statistically significant in predicting SSB consumption. Respondents who have heard of other SSB taxes before or who are a conservative are statistically significantly more likely to be a protest response. Knowledge that poor diet can lead to being overweight increases the preferences for SSB taxes. Further, non-Hispanic whites had statistically significantly lower preferences for SSB taxes than other racial/ethnic groups. The estimated individual median WTP 95% confidence interval was 0.002-0.961 pennies-per-ounce, which is lower than previously proposed taxes in other localities, and could help explain why a recent 2-penny-per-ounce SSB tax failed in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This study is one of the first to empirically estimate the WTP for a SSBs tax and these findings can be used to understand what influences preferences for SSB taxes, positively and negatively.

Joaquin Rubalcaba, PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico, Economics

Dissertation: Labor Supply And A Temporary Reprieve From Deportation: Evidence From The Daca Program

There are over 740,000 unauthorized immigrants who have participated in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Beneficiaries of the DACA program receive temporary reprieve from deportation and work eligibility. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of the DACA program on the labor supply among DACA eligible immigrants. We impute the immigration status of respondents in nationally representative data sets and leverage the distinction between authorized and unauthorized status as a mechanism for identification in a triple-differences model. Our results provide evidence that DACA increased labor force participation by 3 to 4 percentage points among DACA eligible immigrants and reveal a disproportionate increase in labor force participation among women by 3 percentage points or 27,000 participants. DACA eligible women with previous employment experience are shown to be the driving force behind the disproportionate increase in labor force participation, suggesting that the risk of deportation influences unauthorized women to transition out of the labor force when experiencing spells of unemployment. This particular finding provides a unique insight into labor supply behavior at the intersection of immigration status and gender.

Jessica Stewart, PhD UCLA, Political Science

Dissertation: Spatialized Racial Progress Views: The Influence Of Economic Restructuring And Geography On Perceptions Of American Racial Progress

This dissertation addresses the relationship between post-Civil Rights era economic restructuring, place, and contemporary racial progress attitudes. Recent election results, along with political behavior and inter regional migration trends, raise questions about the spatial dynamics of racial inequality and intra-group division. Scholars have addressed the influence of individual level ideology, socioeconomic status, and generational differences on racial progress attitudes. However, the question still remains, to what extent does local socioeconomic context influence perceptions of American racial progress for Blacks, Whites, and Latinos? I argue American racial progress attitudes and related racialized policy preferences vary by place, due to geographic variation in levels of discrimination and opportunities for upward group mobility. To test this theory using regression modeling and spatial analysis, data comes from the 2012 American National Election Survey (ANES) Time-Series Cumulative File, the 2012 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (CMPS), and the 2016 CMPS. Findings highlight pockets of perceived progress and areas with heightened racial disillusionment. More broadly, this work expands understanding of spatial and economic dimensions that undergird contemporary racial progress attitudes, with consideration of historical developments.