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Halpin's research interests focus on low-wage work and workers, low-wage labor markets, and the reproduction of social and economic inequality. Current research explores how low-wage workers weather the precarious economy exploring how they manage risk, uncertainty, and the unpredictable nature of low-wage employment.
Examines the use of undocumented workers in conjunction with flexible scheduling practices in the food service industry. Centers on scheduling manipulation as a mode of workplace control.
Examines the employment situation of low-wage immigrant workers. The findings suggest that the conditions and uncertainty of low-wage often traps low-wage workers.
Analyzes the employment management strategies of low-wage workers to highlight the various forms of unpaid labor workers necessarily engage in to find and maintain employment. Uses a comparative framework to theorize how these strategies converge and diverge across class lines.