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Erin R. Hamilton


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Texas, Austin, 2009
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Texas, Austin, 2005
  • B.A., Policy Studies, Rice University, 2001


Erin Hamilton is associate professor of sociology, and an affiliate of the UC Davis Center for Poverty and Inequality Research, the UC Davis Global Migration Center, and the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas

Research Focus

Erin Hamilton studies when, why, and how people migrate, and with what consequences for migrants, their families, and the communities they leave and enter. Most of her research has focused on Mexico-U.S. migration, with studies of why and how rates of emigration vary across communities in Mexico, how the migration of family and community members affects the health of children in Mexico, and children’s role in migration. She also has studied the family structures of Salvadoran deportees, the indebtedness of Cambodian migrants, and the health of immigrants of all backgrounds in the United States. She is currently working on two projects – research on the wellbeing of young adult immigrants in California funded by the National Science Foundation and research on child and family migration between Mexico and the United States funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and UC MEXUS. She was a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City in spring 2019. Erin is the co-author, with Robert Hummer, of Population Health in America. 


Selected Publications


Robert A. Hummer and Erin R. Hamilton. 2019. Population Health in AmericaOakland, CA: UC Press.


Erin R. Hamilton and Maryann Bylander. 2020. “Children’s Migration from Mexico to the United States in the Early 2000s.” Population Research and Policy Review in press.

Erin R. Hamilton, Caitlin Patler, and Robin Savinar. 2020. “Transition into Liminal Legality: DACA’s Mixed Impacts on Education and Employment among Young Adult Immigrants in California.” Social Problems in press.

Erin R. Hamilton and Po-Chun Huang*. 2020. “Contextualizing Mexican Migrant Educational Selectivity.” Population and Development Review 46(3): 603-616.

Katharine Donato, Laura Caron*, and Erin R. Hamilton. 2020. “Migration and Mental Health in Mexico: Domestic Migrants, Returned U.S. Migrants, and Non-Migrants.” Frontiers Psychiatry 10(970): 1-10.

Claudia Masferrer, Erin R. Hamilton, and Nicole Denier. 2019. "Immigrants in their Parental Homeland: Half a Million U.S.-Born Minors Settle Across Mexico." Demography 56(4):1453-1461. Also see our article on this topic in The Conversation.

Caitlin Patler, Erin R. Hamilton, Kelsey Meagher, and Robin Savinar. 2019. “Uncertainty about DACA May Undermine its Positive Impact on Health for Recipients and their Children.” Health Affairs 38(5): 738-745.

Erin R. Hamilton, Jo Mhairi Hale, and Robin Savinar. 2019. “Immigrant Legal Status and Health: Legal Status Disparities in Chronic Conditions and Musculoskeletal Pain among Mexican-Born Farm Workers in the U.S.” Demography 56(1): 1-24. 


Professor Hamilton teaches undergraduate courses in international migration (SOC 4), demography (SOC 170), and population health (SOC 163), as well as the graduate introduction to research methods (SOC 201) and seminars on migration and demography.


2020 ASA Population Section Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship in Population Award

2019 UC Davis Chancellor's Fellowship

2018-2019 U.S. Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar