Peer-Reviewed Publications

Find below a list of my peer-reviewed journal publications. Where applicable, Google Scholar, professional websites, or faculty profiles are linked. 

Please email me if you'd like a more complete list, including works under review or in progress. 

Please email me also if you're interested in using a pre-print article for personal use or under fair use policy. 

Zachary D. Kline. 2023. “The effects of state-managed marketplaces on out-of-pocket health care costs: Before and after the Affordable Care Act.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, advanced access. 

The healthcare marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are intended to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for middle- and moderate-income families. However, state governments regulate many aspects of the insurance markets. This study examines how state-managed insurance marketplaces affect the ACA’s impact on out-of-pocket healthcare spending across different income groups. A difference-in-difference model is used on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics data in conjunction with data from the Kaiser Family Foundation and Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. While expenses for middle and upper-income families across the country continue to rise, findings reveal that many ACA-eligible, moderate-income families experience relatively lower costs. State-managed marketplaces pronounce this constraining effect, especially for moderate-income families with incomes between 200% and 300% of the poverty line. The stratification-inspired approach furthermore provides insight to policymakers and judgment and decision-making scientists interested in how best to implement equitable choice-based programs among stratified communities. 

Link to the article

Link to replication package

Zachary D. Kline. 2023. “The rise of market-based “choice” programs: 100 years of social sorting in social welfare services.” Sociology Compass, 17(12): e13146

Social service programs in the United States increasingly focus on giving individuals and families more “choices.” The approach is exemplified by “choice programs,” where people receive services through various forms of market participation. Examples of choice programs include defined contribution retirement plans, housing vouchers, charter schools, and health insurance marketplaces. Individuals across the socioeconomic spectrum have become accustomed to choice programs, and one's social status greatly affects the types, qualities, and prices of services people receive. The importance of the conversation around choice programs for providing access to resources is immense. Yet, despite contentious debate about their utility, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the institutionalization and widespread adoption of choice programs across a diverse range of social service domains. This article synthesizes stratification literature on retirement, healthcare, education, and housing to document the historical rise of choice programs. Particular attention is given to explaining how behavioral patterns and routines become second nature, altering who benefits, who is left out, and the overall effectiveness of the social welfare system. 

Link to the article

Andrea Voyer,* Zachary D. Kline,* Madison Danton, and Tanja Volkova. 2022. “From Strange to Normal: Computational Approaches to Examining Immigrant Incorporation through Shifts in the Mainstream.” Sociological Methods and Research 51(4): 1540–1579

* denotes equal contribution.

This article presents a computational approach to examining immigrant incorporation through shifts in the social “mainstream.” Analyzing a historical corpus of American etiquette books, texts from 1922-2017 describing social norms, we identify mainstream shifts related to longstanding groups which once were and may currently still be seen as immigrant outsiders in the United States: Catholic, Chinese, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Mexican, and Muslim groups. The analysis takes a computational grounded theory approach, combining qualitative readings and computational text analyses. Using word embeddings, we operationalize the chosen groups as focal group concepts. We extract sections of text that are salient to the focal group concepts to create group-specific text corpora. Two computational approaches make it possible to examine mainstream shifts in these corpora. First, we use sentiment analysis to observe the positive sentiment in each corpus and its change over time. Second, we observe changes in each corpus’s position on a semantic dimension represented by the poles of “strange” and “normal.” The results indicate mainstream shifts through increases in positive sentiment and movement from strange to normal over time for most of the group-specific corpora. These research techniques can be adapted to other studies of social sentiment and symbolic inclusion. 

Link to the replication package.

Andrea Voyer, Zachary D. Kline, and Madison Danton “Symbols of class: A computational analysis of class distinction-making through etiquette, 1922-2017.” Poetics 94: 101734. 51(4): 1540–1579

Social scientists of class and inequality have documented the rise of omnivorousness, informality, ordinariness, and emphasis on meritocracy. This apparent decline in class closure contrasts sharply with rising inequality and declining economic mobility. How are these competing developments reflected in everyday class distinction-making? In this article, we answer this question by applying Goffman's work on the symbols of class status to the analysis of unique data: a corpus of etiquette books published between 1922 and 2017. We use word embeddings to quantify the salience of six class concepts (affluence, cultivation, education, employment, morality, and status) in the corpus. We find that education and employment are increasingly salient while status, affluence, cultivation, and morality decline in their salience to class distinction-making. These results signal a decline of class operating as a status group through cultural closure, the rise of education and employment as the carriers of class in everyday life, and the corresponding legitimation of class position and class inequality based on supposedly meritocratic grounds. This research opens up new avenues for studies of class and the application of computational methods to investigations of social change.

Link to the replication package.

Jeremy Pais, Andrew Deener, Mary J. Fischer, and Zachary D. Kline. 2022. "'Shelter at Home, if You Can:' Community Vulnerability and Residential Sequestering During the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020." The Sociological Quarterly 63(3):562-589

This study examines the effects of community vulnerability on residential sequestering across counties in the United States. Powerlessness and racialized politics are two hypothesized reasons for why community vulnerability affects social distancing behavior. Powerlessness is tied to the socioeconomic disadvantages of places, which intertwines with politics and race to produce a stratified response to the pandemic. We examine these dynamics with analyses that account for the disease epidemiology and other demographic factors. Data come from multiple sources, including Google’s Mobility Reports and Cuebiq’s Mobility Insights. Growth curve analyses find that socioeconomic disadvantage, political orientation, and racial composition independently explain the rate of change in mobility and peak residential sequestering levels during the initial outbreak. These conceptually separate dimensions of community vulnerability operate in concert, rather than as substitutes or as competing explanations, to impact the behavioral response to COVID-19

Link to article.

Kline, Zachary D. and Jeremy Pais. 2021. "Social Stratification and Choice-Based Policy Programs: The Case of Early Withdrawal of Retirement Savings during the Great Recession." Social Forces 99(3): 947-978. 

Access to emergency funds during times of need is increasingly dependent on a “choice-based” retirement system in the United States. This study examines the operation of this choice-based retirement system across a socioeconomically stratified population impacted by the Great Recession. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics collected between 2005 and 2011, we first assess how socioeconomic status shapes access to different types of retirement plans. We then examine the varied pathways that lead to the early withdrawal of retirement savings. The results depict a multistage selection process through which socioeconomic resources structure the process of withdrawal. This occurs first through the availability of retirement funds and the makeup of the retirement portfolio and then through the likelihood of hardship. The results also reveal the importance of education in getting access to retirement savings during a hardship. The general implications for choice-based programs are discussed.

Link to article.

Link to replication package.

Munsch, Christin L, Liberty Barnes, and Zachary D. Kline. 2020. "Who's to Blame? Partisanship, Responsability, and Support for Mental Health Treatment." Socius 6: 1-12.

This article investigates partisan beliefs regarding attributions of responsibility for mental illness and support for mental health treatment. In study 1, we utilize a nationally representative data set to investigate these relationships with respect to generalized anxiety disorder. In study 2, we utilize an online convenience sample to assess these relationships in the context of schizophrenia. In both studies, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to attribute mental health disorders to factors that lie within patients’ control and were less supportive of healthcare coverage. In addition, given the rhetorical, erroneous link between schizophrenia and gun violence, we assess participants’ beliefs about gun control in the context of mental health. Paradoxically, we find that people who support gun rights for the mentally ill are the least likely to support healthcare coverage for the mentally ill. We discuss the implications of our findings for shaping U.S. gun debates. 

Link to open-access article.