Associate Professor of Social Demography
My research explores the interaction between social inequalities and demographic processes. In a significant line of research emerging from my doctoral work, I examine the demographic implications of one of the most striking expressions of gender inequalty — son preference. I am interested in both the postnatal manifestations of son preference in the form of gender gaps in mortality and health, as well as in the prenatal manifestations in the form of sex-selective abortion and sex ratio at birth distortions. I am also interested in thinking about the long-term implications of son preference and sex ratio distortions for population dynamics.
In a strand of research on marriage and family formation, I have been studying how different forms of gender asymmetries characterise marriage patterns in countries of South and East Asia, and developing ways to assess the potential role of demographic forces (e.g sex ratio distortions) in shifting marriage norms. I have also worked in the areas of ethnicity and migration, and explored demographic characteristics and social attitudes of ethnic minorities in Britain.
In addition to these substantive interests, I am interested in how digital and computational innovations, both as a set of models (e.g agent-based models, microsimulation) and new types of data sources (e.g digital trace data), can contribute to social science. In ongoing work, I have been working with other social and computer scientists to explore how digital trace data can be leveraged to measure development and gender inequality indicators. I have also used agent-based models to better understand the micro-level underpinning of macro-level demographic patterns such as sex ratio at birth distortions.