About

Josh is an NSF-funded postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University’s Office of Population Research and an academic year visiting scholar in sociology at Harvard University. Josh uses advanced computational methods and in-depth qualitative interviews to better understand and predict patterns of economic inequality, international migration, and health.

Josh is currently engaged in three lines of research. His first project employs automated text analysis, spatial regression, and other computation techniques to investigate the shift in Mexico-U.S. migration from primarily unauthorized entry toward a system dominated by legal temporary workers. Annual entries on H2-Visas, which allow foreigners to hold low-skilled U.S. jobs for periods of less than one year, rose from 24,000 in 1997 to nearly 540,000 in 2017 (roughly 90% of these entrants are Mexican nationals), while net undocumented migration fell below zero beginning in 2007, its lowest level in more than five decades. In a working paper with Douglas Massey, Josh demonstrates uses both official statistics and survey data to show that the circulation of legal temporary workers is likely to expand steadily while undocumented migration continues to wither. 

Beyond hisbook project, Josh is engaged in three ongoing lines of research. The first, which is supported by a ReNew Mobility grant from Copenhagen Business School, examines how employers manipulate wages and working conditions by incorporating immgrants into their companies. It goes without saying that immigrants cannot “take” jobs from native workers without being offered those jobs by firm managers. Yet, these subtle substitutions are rarely visible in survey data. In collaboration with several scholars at CBS, Josh will use individual- and firm-level registry data for Nordic countries to assess how changes in the number of immigrants employed within firms affect wages and inequality within those firms. Their analysis will shift the broader conversation about immigrants’ labor market impacts away from migrants per se to consider how business owners actively substitute immigrants for native-born workers as a cost-saving strategy, and how that substitution affects labor market conditions. This collaborative study will complement Josh's book project on employer demand for guest workers in the United States.

Josh's third ongoing project explores access to medical care among Mexican migrants. In papers that appeared in the American Journal of Public Health and Demographic Research, Josh documents low levels of coverage and limited access to care among Mexican return migrants. He finds that health coverage is lowest immediately following return and improves as migrants re-enter the labor market and gain access to employment-based insurance. In a paper that Josh recently resubmitted to the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, he presents the first examination of access to medical care among U.S.-born minors living in Mexico, who now number more than 500,000. These vulnerable youth are substantially underinsured relative to their Mexican-born counterparts, suggesting the need for a binational initiative to ensure their access to appropriate medical care.

Research from Josh's earlier projects appears or is forthcoming in the Annual Review of SociologySocial ForcesSocial Problems, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Population Research and Policy Review

In 2018, Josh received his PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a predoctoral trainee at the Carolina Population Center and co-directed an interdisciplinary working group on international migration and immigrant incorporation. Josh’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas, the UNC Graduate School, and the Copenhagen Business School. In 2017, Josh received the Odum Award for research excellence from the Sociology Department at UNC. He also served as an Associate Editor of Social Forces.