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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.
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.
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.