Shilin Jia

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Masters Program in Computational Social Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637


My CV (last updated on 9/12/2022)

My homepage at University of Chicago

Research Interests

Repeated observations of social events over long periods of time are difficult to collect. But with the emergence of new types of data, the task has become increasingly possible and is presenting opportunities for sociologists to test social theories that have long been speculated without rigorous examination. My research interest is in developing and applying innovative methods to analyze digitized archival data and answer questions about macro-historical social change.

I have spent years analyzing job transfers of political elites in the communist party China. It is a project that I built up from scratch by using machines to code party elites' CVs. My goal is to understand how the party state has evolved through division of labor and circulation of its elite members. I am also involved in a computational content analysis project tracking ideological changes in the full text of 60 years of the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the communist party. The aim of that project is to understand how incompatible ideas in an ideological system can be gradually reconciled and how the concept of the "market" was unfettered in that process. More recently, I have been working on building word-embedding models based on multiple languages of Google N-grams and studying identity formation across language communities.

Manuscript in Preparation

Vacancy Chain as Strategy: Inter-Administration Mobility of Political Elites in Reform China (with Benjamin Rhor)

New Wine in Old Bottles: Ideological Transformation and Rhetorical Creation of Market in China's People's Daily, 1946 - 2003 (with Linzhuo Li)

Work in Progress

Popularity of Anti-Establishment Claims during the 2016 US Presidential Election Campaign as Reflected in Google Trends.

In-group and Out-group Identifications in 9 Different Languages of Google Ngrams


Effect of Control in OLS Regressions

Anomalous Outcomes in the 2018 Taiwan Referendum (in Chinese)