James Chu

James Chu

PhD Candidate

Stanford University

Biography

James Chu is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Stanford University, and he will join the Sociology Department at Columbia University in 2021.

His primary line of research investigates how social institutions foster inequality and conflict: What role do ranking systems play in the reproduction of unequal access to higher education? Do reputations introduce self-fulfilling cycles that widen achievement gaps among students? Do status hierarchies insulate people from aggression or expose them to it?

He also examines how policy interventions can lead to social inequality and conflict, even when they are designed to do the opposite. He uses social network analysis, field experiments, and quasi-experimental methods of causal inference to test answers to these sociological questions. His publications have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Socius, Journal of Public Analysis and Management, and Journal of Labor Economics.

Interests

  • inequality and stratification
  • economic and organizational sociology
  • sociology of education

Education

  • PhD in Sociology, 2020 (expected)

    Stanford University

  • MA in Sociology, 2011

    Stanford University

  • BS in Human Biology, 2011

    Stanford University