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Dr. Tim Liao

Profile picture for Dr. Tim Liao

Contact Information

3069 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Professor Emeritus


PhD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tim Liao is Professor of Sociology, Statistics, and East Asian Languages & Cultures. As a founding member, he serves on the executive committee of the Sequence Analysis Association. He received the American Sociological Association Methodology's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award in 2021. He was a 2017-2018 Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellow. He is an Associate Editor of Advances in Life Course Research and a Deputy Editor of Demography and serves on the editorial board of the American Sociological Review and The Sociological Quarterly. 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 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 Interests

Inequality & Mobility, the Life Course, Methodology, Population, Collective Memory

Research Description

Representative Research Papers

T.F. Liao. 2022. “A Study of Cumulative COVID-19 Mortality Trends Associated with Ethnic-Racial Composition, Income Inequality, and Party Inclination among US Counties.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19 (2022) 15803.   

T.F. Liao. 2022. “Fertility of Female Filipino and Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong.” International Migration Review available online since November 7, 2022.

I. Mooi-Reci, T.F. Liao, and M. Curry 2022. “Linked Labor Force Trajectories: Empirical Evidence from Dual-Parent Families in the United States and Australia.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 82 (2022) 100734.

T.F. Liao, D. Bolano, C. Brzinsky-Fay, B. Cornwell, A.E. Fasang, S. Helske, R. Piccarreta, M. Raab, G. Ritschard, E. Struffolino, and M. Studer. 2022. “Sequence Analysis: Its Past, Present, and Future.” Social Science Research 107 (2022) 102772.

T.F. Liao 2022. “Individual Components of Three Inequality Measures for Analyzing Shapes of Inequality.” Sociological Methods & Research 51(3): 1325-1356. Available online since September 2019.

T.F. Liao. 2022. “Understanding Anti-COVID-19 Vaccination Protest Slogans in the US.” Frontiers in Communication | Health Communication 30 June 2022,

Zeng and T.F. Liao. 2021. “Social Exchange in Mate Selection of Female Migrants in China.” Marriage & Family Review 58(3): 199-244. Available online since July 2021.

T.F. Liao. 2021. “Social and Economic Inequality in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Coverage across Illinois Counties.” Scientific Reports (a Nature journal) Article number 18443.

T.F. Liao. 2021. “Income Inequality, Social Comparison, and Happiness in the United States.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 7: 1-17 (an American Sociological Association journal).

T.F. Liao and F. De Maio. 2021. “Association of Social and Economic Inequality with Coronavirus Disease 19 Incidence and Mortality Across US Counties.” JAMA Network Open 4(1): e2034578.

T.F. Liao. 2021. “Using Sequence Analysis to Quantify How Strongly Life Courses Are Linked.” Sociological Science 8: 48-72. doi: 10.15195/v8.a3.

T.F. Liao and A.E. Fasang. 2021. “Comparing Groups of Life Course Sequences Using the Bayesian Information Criterion and the Likelihood Ratio Test.” Sociological Methodology 51(1): 44-85. Available online since October 2020.

T.F. Liao and R.Y. Gan. 2020. “Filipino and Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong: Their Life Courses in Migration.” American Behavioral Scientist 64(6): 740-764.

Y.-N.Chung, T.F. Liao,and E. Fong. 2020. “Data Collection for Migrant Live-in Domestic Workers: A Three-Stage Cluster Sampling Method.” American Behavioral Scientist 64(6): 709-721.

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

T.F. Liao 2019. “Individual Components of Three Inequality Measures for Analyzing Shapes of Inequality.” Sociological Methods & Research. Advance online publication.

Wang and T.F. Liao. 2019. “State Policy and Contraceptive Choices: Evidence from China 1979-2012.”  Asian Population Studies 15(1): 47-65.(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)

Qin and T.F. Liao. 2016. “Labor Out-Migration and Agricultural Change in Rural China: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journalof Rural Studies47, 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 Inequality” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 2: 1-14 (an American Sociological Association journal).

Qin and T.F. Liao. 2016. “The Association between Rural‒Urban Migration Flows and Urban Air Quality in China.” Regional Environmental Change16(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.

  1. Fasang and T.F. Liao. 2014. “Visualizing Sequences in the Social Sciences: Relative Frequency Sequence Plots.” Sociological Methods & Research43(4): 643-676.
  2. F. Liao. 2014. “Of  Rice and Men: Commodity, Hybridity, and Collective Memory in the American Marketplace.” International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities7(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.

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 SocietySeries 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 Sciences2(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.

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 Research43(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.

Books & Edited Volumes

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

  1. 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 RelationsSeries.

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.

Computer Programs & Creative and Didactic Work

Computer Programs & Creative and Didactic Work

An R program, seqpolyads, for assessing the strength of linked life coures (2021)

An R program, seqCompare, for computing BIC and LRT statistics for comparing sequences (2020)

An R package, ProbMarg, for computing logit and probit predicted probabilities and marginal effects (2020)

An R package, iIneq, for computing individual decompositions of the Gini and the Theil indices (2020)

A Stata ado, igini1, for computing individual components of the Gini index (2019)

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

An R program, seqplot.rf, for visualizing sequence data with representative index plots (2014)

2000 ASA Didactic Seminar on Multilevel Modeling.

Rate Decomposition Method.

An S program, multigroup.glib, 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.


Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor Emeritus, Sociology
Research Professor, Sociology

Recent Publications

Liao, T. F. (2023). Fertility of Female Filipino and Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong. International Migration Review, 57(3), 1049-1068.

Ritschard, G., Liao, T. F., & Struffolino, E. (2023). Strategies for Multidomain Sequence Analysis in Social Research. Sociological Methodology, 53(2), 288-322.

Wang, X., He, J., Liao, T. F., & Gu, G. (2023). Does Air Pollution Influence the Settlement Intention of the Floating Population in China? Individual Heterogeneity and City Characteristics. Sustainability, 15(4), Article 2995.

Liao, T. F. (2022). A Study of Cumulative COVID-19 Mortality Trends Associated with Ethnic-Racial Composition, Income Inequality, and Party Inclination among US Counties. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(23), Article 15803.

Liao, T. F. (2022). Individual Components of Three Inequality Measures for Analyzing Shapes of Inequality. Sociological Methods and Research, 51(3), 1325-1356.

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