Room 708

DOWNLOAD CV (PDF: 12 pages)

Focus: Low-income families and children in China, the U.S., and other countries, with an emphasis on rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian immigrants in the U.S.

Research: Book on Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China (Oxford University Press, 2017); and over 50 peer-reviewed articles and chapters on poverty, inequality, social assistance, social insurance, migrants, and the welfare state in China. An executive summary of her book was published by China Policy Institute: Analysis at the University of Nottingham and can be found here. Prof. Gao also discussed the book in an interview with Asia Society’s ChinaFile.


Qin Gao is a professor at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), a faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center and of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the director of Columbia University’s China Center for Social Policy. She is also an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Before joining the CSSW faculty, she was a professor and the Coordinator of International Initiatives at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service.

Dr. Gao’s current research examines the following topics: 1) the Chinese welfare state in transition: size, structure, and redistributive effects; 2) effectiveness and impacts of dibao, China’s primary social assistance program, and other anti-poverty policies and programs; 3) gender inequality in time use in China and beyond; 4) social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian American immigrants; and 5) cross-national comparative social policies and programs. Dr. Gao’s work has been supported by multiple national and international funding sources such as the National Social Science Fund of China, UNICEF, and the World Bank.

Dr. Gao organized the Symposium on Income Inequality and Social Policy in China: Achievements, Challenges, and Directions, held in Beijing on Oct. 22, 2016. The Symposium was cohosted by CSSW and the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University and supported by the Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Global Centers | Beijing.