Dr. Tim Liao

Dr. Tim Liao

Contact Information

3120 Lincoln Hall, 702 S Wright St, MC 454, Urbana, IL 61801
Department Head, Professor

Additional Campus Affiliations


Fields of Study: Methodology, Demography, Collective Memory, Life Course Research.  PhD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tim Liao is Professor of Sociology, Statistics, and East Asian Languages & Cultures and Head, Department of Sociology. As a founding member, he serves on the executive committee of the Sequence Analysis Association. He was a 2017-2018 Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellow. He is a former Deputy Editor of The Sociological Quarterly, (1992-2000), former Editor of Sage’s Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences series (2004-2009), and former Editor of Sociological Methodology (2009-2015). He is a Deputy Editor of Demography. He served on the council of the ASA Methodology Section (1998-2001) and the council of the North America Chinese Sociological Association (2000-2002). He also served on the editorial board of Sociological Methods & Research and on the editorial board of Sociological Methodology. He was the Chair of the Methodology Section of the American Sociology Association from 2009 to 2011.

Research Description

Books & Edited Volumes

T.F. Liao. Editor. 2015. Sociological Methodology, Volume 45. American Sociological Association/Sage.

T. F. Liao, K. Hara, and K. Wiegand. Co-editors. 2015. The China and Japan Border Dispute: Islands of Contention in Multidisciplinary Perspective. Routledge’s Rethinking Asia and International Relations Series.

T.F. Liao. Editor. 2014. Sociological Methodology, Volume 44. American Sociological Association/Sage.

T.F. Liao. Editor. 2013. Sociological Methodology, Volume 43. American Sociological Association/Sage.

T.F. Liao. Editor. 2012. Sociological Methodology, Volume 42. American Sociological Association/Sage.

T.F. Liao. Editor. 2011. Sociological Methodology, Volume 41. American Sociological Association/Wiley. 

T.F. Liao. Editor. 2010. Sociological Methodology, Volume 40. American Sociological Association/Wiley. 

T.F. Liao and E. Hałas. Editors. 2007. Florian Znaniecki’s Sociology and Today’s Global Society. A Special Issue of Polish Sociological Review. 158(2).   

T.F. Liao. 2007. Chinese Translation (by Gao Yong) of Statistical Group Comparison. Chongqing University Press.

M.S. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman, and T.F. Liao. Editors. 2004. Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods. Sage. (Click to open a new tab.) 

T.F. Liao. 2002. Statistical Group Comparison. Wiley-InterScience.

T.F. Liao. Editor. 1996. Demographic Theories and Models. A Special Issue of The Sociological Quarterly. The Midwest Sociological Society.

T.F. Liao. 1994. Interpreting Probability Models: Logit, Probit, and Other Generalized Linear Models. Sage.

Representative Research Papers

T.F. Liao and R.Y. Gan. Forthcoming. “Filipino & Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong: Their Life Courses in Migration.” American Behavioral Scientist : 

R. Y.-N. Chung, T.F. Liao, and E. Fong. Forthcoming. “Data Collection for Migrant Live-in Domestic Workers: A Three-Stage Cluster Sampling Method.” American Behavioral Scientist :

T.F. Liao. Forthcoming. “Individual Components of Three Inequality Measures for Analyzing Shapes of Inequality.” Sociological Methods & Research.

L. Zeng and T.F. Liao. Forthcoming. “Social Exchange in Mate Selection of Female Migrants in China.” Marriage & Family Review.

T.F. Liao. 2020. “The Peer Review System.” Pp. 73-97 in The Production of Knowledge: Enhancing Progress in Social Science, edited bz Colin Elman, John Gerring, and Jim Mahoney. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

C.Wang and T.F. Liao. 2019. “State Policy and Contraceptive Choices: Evidence from China 1979-2012.”  Asian Population Studies. (Equal authorship)

T.F. Liao and H. Qin. 2018. “Parental Attitudes of Migrant Workers with Children in Beijing, China.” Pp. 115-130 in Contemporary Migrations in the Humanistic Coefficient Perspective: Florian Znaniecki’s Thought in Today’s Social Science Research, edited by Jacek Kubera and Łukasz Skoczylas, Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.

T.F. Liao and C. Wang. 2018. “The Changing Face of Money: Forging Collective Memory with Banknote Designs in the People’s Republic of China.” The China Review 18(2): 87-119.

T.F. Liao and C. Wang. 2018. “Permanent Emergency: Inequality in Access to Hospitalisation among Urban Elderly Chinese.” Global Public Health 13(8): 1098-1113. Available online sinceNovember 2016. (Equal authorship)

H. Qin and T.F. Liao. 2016. “Labor Out-Migration and Agricultural Change in Rural China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journalof Rural Studies 47, Part B: 533-541.

T.F. Liao. 2016. “Evaluating Distributional Differences in Income Inequality withSampling weights.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World (Supplements) 2: 1-6 (an American Sociological Association journal).

L.A. Goodman and T.F. Liao. 2016. “Paul Felix Lazarsfeld’s Impact on AmericanSociological Methodology.” Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique 129: 94-102. (Corresponding author: T.F. Liao)

T.F. Liao. 2016. “Evaluating Distributional Differences in Income InequalitySocius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 2: 1-14 (an American Sociological Association journal).

H. Qin and T.F. Liao. 2016. “The Association between Rural‒Urban Migration Flows and Urban Air Quality in China.” Regional Environmental Change 16(5): 1375-1387. Available online since September 2015.

T.F. Liao and L. Zhang. 2015. “The Changing Circle of Alliance and the National Day Parade in China.” Pp. 15-25 (Chapter 1) in Routledge Handbook of Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia, edited by Mikyoung Kim, London: Routledge.

T.F. Liao. 2015. “Assessing the Effect of Panel Attrition on Log-linear Model Estimation.” Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique 128: 40-54.

A. Fasang and T.F. Liao. 2014. “Visualizing Sequences in the Social Sciences: Relative Frequency Sequence Plots.” Sociological Methods & Research 43(4): 643-676.

T. F. Liao. 2014. “Of  Rice and Men: Commodity, Hybridity, and Collective Memory in the American Marketplace.” International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities 7(2): 89-105.

T.F. Liao. 2013. "Group Differences in Generalized Linear Models." Pp. 153-166 (Chapter 19) in Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research, edited by Stephen L. Morgan, New York: Springer.

C. Hennig and T.F. Liao. 2013. “How to Find an Appropriate Clustering for Mixed Type Variables with Application to Socioeconomic Stratification” (with discussion). Journal of Royal Statistical Society Series C 62(3): 309-369.

T. F. Liao. 2013. “Population, Resources, and Female Labor in the Raw Silk Industry of Nagano in Meiji Japan.” Social Sciences 2(1): 23-39.

T.F. Liao., J. Beckman, E. Marzolph, C. Riederer, J. Sayer, and L. Schmelkin. 2013. "The Social Definition of Time for University Students." Time & Society 22(1): 119-151.

T.F. Liao & B. Özcan. 2012. "Family Forms among First and Second Generation Immigrants in Metropolitan America, 1960-2009." Pp. 223-254 (Chapter 11) in Immigrant Adaptation in Multi-Ethnic Cities: Canada, Taiwan, and the U.S., edited by Eric Fong, Nora Chiang, and Nancy Denton. London: Routledge.

T.F. Liao, A. Rule, R. Ardisana, A. Knicher, A. Mayo, & C. Sarcu. 2012. "Social Behavior in Public Spaces in a College Town." Sociology & Space 50(1): 3-26.

T.F. Liao, G. Zhang, & L. Zhang. 2011. "Social Foundations of National Anthems: Theorizing for a Better Understanding of the Changing fate of the National Anthem of China." Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42(1): 106-127.

T.F. Liao. 2010. "Visual Symbolism, Collective Memory, and Social Protest: The Case of the 2009 London G20 Protest." Social Alternatives 29(3): 37-43.

T.F. Liao. 2010. "The Core Concept of Social Sustainability: Can We Cut the Gordian Knot?" The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 6(2): 123-138.

T.F. Liao. 2008. "The Gini Unbound: Analyzing Class Inequality with Model-Based Clustering." Pp. 201-221 (Chapter 12) in Advances on Income Inequality and Concentration Measures, edited by Gianni Betti and Achille Lemmi. Routledge.

T.F. Liao & C. Hronis. 2007. "The Polish Peasant and the Sixth Life Course Principle." Polish Sociological Review 158(2): 173-185.

T.F. Liao. 2006. "Measuring and Analyzing Class Inequality with the Gini Index Informed by Model-Based Clustering." Sociological Methodology 36: 201-224.

T.F. Liao. 2004. "Comparing Social Groups: Wald Statistics for Testing Equality among Multiple Logit Models." International Journal of Comparative Sociology 45(1-2): 3-16.

T.F. Liao. 2004. "Estimating Household Structure in Ancient China by Using Historical Data: A Latent Class Analysis of Partially Missing Patterns." Journal of Royal Statistical Society Series A 167(1): 125-139.

T.F. Liao. 2002. "Bayesian Model Comparison in Generalized Linear Models across Multiple Groups." Computational Statistics & Data Analysis 39(3): 311-327.

T.F. Liao. 2001. "Were Past Chinese Families Complex? Household Structures during the Tang Dynasty 618-907 AD." Continuity & Change 16(3): 331-355.

T.F. Liao. 2001. "How Responsive Is U.S. Population Growth to Immigration? A Situational Sensitivity Analysis." Mathematical Population Studies 9(3-4): 217-229.

J. Park & T.F. Liao. 2000. "The Effect of Multiple Roles of South Korean Married Women Professors: Role Changes and the Factors Which Influence Potential Role Gratification and Strain." Sex Roles: An International Journal of Research 43(7-8): 571-591.

T.F. Liao. 2000. "Estimated Precision for Predictions from Generalized Linear Models in Sociological Research." Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology 34(2): 137-152.

T.F. Liao. 1996. "Measuring Population Aging as a Function of Fertility, Mortality, and Migration." Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 11(1): 61-79.

T.F. Liao & Y. Cai. 1995. "Socialization, Life Situations, and Gender-Role Attitudes Regarding the Family among White American Women." Sociological Perspectives 38(2): 241-260.

T.F. Liao. 1995. "The Nonrandom Selection of Don’t Knows for Binary and Ordinal Responses: Corrections with the Bivariate Probit Model with Sample Selection." Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology 29: 87-110.

T.F. Liao & G. Stevens. 1994. "Spouses, Homogamy, and Social Networks." Social Forces 73(2): 693-707.

T.F. Liao. 1994. "A Theoretical Framework of Collective Action for the Evaluation of Family Planning Programs." Population Research and Policy Review 13(1): 49-67.

T.F. Liao. 1993. "Sitting in Oblivion as a Taoist Practice of Positive Alienation: A Response to Negative Alienation in the Tang Dynasty." International Sociology 8(4): 479-492.

T.F. Liao. 1992. "Immanence and Transcendence: The Relationship between Patterns of Decision-Making and Fertility among Catholics and Protestants." Sociological Analysis 53(1): 49-72.

T.F. Liao. 1989. "A Flexible Approach for the Decomposition of Rate Differences." Demography 26(4): 717-726. Erratum in Demography 28(2): 179.

Computer Programs & Creative and Didactic Work

Computer Programs & Creative and Didactic Work

A Stata program, theildeco, for refined Theil decomposition (2016)

2000 ASA Didactic Seminar on Multilevel Modeling.

A Rate Decomposition Method.

An S program for Comparison in Generalized Linear Models.

T.F. Liao. 2010. Cover Art Design for Northeast Asia’s Difficult Past: Essays in Collective Memory, edited by Mikyoung Kim and Barry Schwartz. Palgrave Mcmillan.