Yu-Han Jao

Area(s) of Interest:  Sociology of Education, Inequality/Stratification, Family, Health, Demography

Current Research

In my dissertation project, I examine how changes in institutional policies affect class inequalities in educational opportunities in East Asia. Comparing the educational reforms in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, I find that reforms targeting curriculum versus those targeting student assessment and admissions criteria can have very different impacts on class inequality in educational outcomes, even though they were created to address the same societal problem. My findings suggest that de-emphasizing standardized test scores in admission decisions reduced educational inequalities by social class in Taiwan and South Korea. However, such a pattern did not occur following the institutional changes to de-standardize the national curriculum in Japan.

In other research projects with Professor Christine Percheski, we investigate cohort changes in family formation behaviors by race, and cohort changes in the association between fertility behaviors and educational attainment in the U.S. using NLSY79 and NLSY97.


“Shared Environment Estimates for Educational Attainment: A Puzzle and Possible Solutions.” Journal of Personality. 2015. With Jeremy Freese

“Changing Marriage and Family Values in Taiwan and Hong Kong: Mate Selection and Childbearing.” In Wen-Shan Yang and Po-San Wan (eds.), Facing Challenges: A Comparison of Taiwan and Hong Kong. 2013. With Chin-Chun Yi

“Trends in the Employment of Married Mothers of Preschool-Aged Children in Taiwan.” Chinese Sociological Review. 2012. With Jui-Chung Allen Li


2016 Doctoral Research Fellowship, Ministry of Education, Taiwan

2012 MacArthur Summer Research Grant, with Christine Percheski