Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Michael Esposito

Funded Fellow 2015/2016
Demographic Methods Certificate 2018
Sociology PhD 2018

Michael completed his PhD in the University of Washington’s Department of Sociology in 2018. He is generally interested in the ways in which individuals leverage social and economic resources to protect their health. His primary research agenda focuses on elucidating racial variation in the mechanisms that link educational attainment to better health. He has recently found himself becoming more involved in projects on the adverse health effects of contact with the criminal justice system as well. In addressing these topics, he often relies on machine/statistical learning methodologies–on which he has received extensive instruction–and causal inference techniques. Utilizing these tools–separately, and sometimes in conjunction–usually allows for him to effectively leverage observational data to speak towards the research questions he is interested in addressing.

Michael’s dissertation (”Interwoven Social Determinants:  Race, Education, and Health in the United States”) explored in three different analyses the effect of education on health within and between the White and the Black population groups in the US.  The dissertation adds to and extends the research that has established the well-known education gradient on health by exploring in sophisticated ways the sources of heterogeneity in education’s effect within and between racial groups.  The work identifies the complexity and differential effects present within this fundamental social determinant of health, the interplay between race and education as fundamental factors in health, and the varied pathways leading to the observed health inequality among racial groups.

Mike will be heading for University of Michigan in August, 2018 for a three-year post-doctoral position.