Research

As a sociologist with an additional training in mathematical statistics, I am primarily interested in the modeling of people’s decision making in various contexts. Everyday interactions with friends, family or neighbors, peers in schools or colleagues at work as well as the resources we mobilize through such networks: they all influence our own views and decisions. In this vein, I conducted several research projects on neighborhood and other contextual and compositional effects. The results of some of them can be found below, for example, an interactive map of influences of the regional opportunity structure on individual education, labor market, and participation chances in Switzerland.

The effects of local and regional opportunity structures

In ongoing work, I focus on the quantitative modeling of neighborhood and other contextual effects on individual life chances, such as educational transitions, labor market participation, social mobility and political participation. Some of this work found its way into a science communication project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, in form of an interactive online application: www.geographies-of-opportunity.ch

Methodologies

Apart from studying intrinsically sociological outcomes, I also develop and promote new methodological approaches, for example how we can deal with missing data in spatial econometric models, how such models can be used to obtain better propensity weights to adjust for survey nonresponse, or modified forms of survey experiments.

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