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Dr Yiyang Gao

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Education


Postdoctoral Research Associate

I moved to Durham in September 2023. Before that, I received my PhD degree in Advanced Quantitative Methods at the University of Exeter in 2023 and my Master's degree in Quantitative Research Methods at UCL in 2017. I am particularly interested in ethnicity, segregation in education and labour market, and population geography. 

My PhD thesis explores ethnic segregation in the English education system. Due to the long-standing debate regarding the failure of multiculturalism and the integration of post-war immigrants, this topic captures my attention particularly. Integration of ethnic groups has long been regarded as a sign of social cohesion, equality of opportunity, and the absence of racial discrimination. Since the development of intergroup relationships is not confined to residential neighbourhoods, mixing in schools and workplaces has been considered in recent years.

The purpose of my thesis is to examine the distribution patterns of ethnic minorities in multiple geographical units and the change in these patterns over the past two decades. I examine the effects of demographic changes on racial and ethnic segregation patterns by using a decomposition method.

Additionally, I am interested in the geographic distribution of ethnic achievement gaps. That is, to determine whether school segregation as a group-level characteristic could explain ethnic differences in GCSE results. Data for this study were derived from the National Pupil Database (administrative data) and its linked datasets with the Millennial Cohort Study (survey). 

If you are also interested in using computational social science methods to study spatial inequalities in education and labour markets, please feel free to get in touch. I am very much looking forward to having more converstations on these topics.

Research interests

  • Segregation and inequality, population geography, ethnicity.