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Michael Paarlberg

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Immigration
  • Labor
  • Criminal Justice

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About Michael

Paarlberg's research focuses on immigration, labor, and the politics of Latin American diaspora communities. Overarching themes in Paarlberg's writings include the influence diaspora communities have over politics in their home countries; labor conditions of low wage workers, and the criminalization of immigrants. Paarlberg is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and a contributor to the Guardian.


No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Regular op-ed contributions Michael Paarlberg to The Guardian.
"What is the Real Effect of the Tipped Minimum Wage Increase?," Michael Paarlberg, Econo-Missed, Data for Progress, October 31, 2018.
Michael Paarlberg's research on Susan Milligan, "Is Raising Wages for Tipped Workers Worth It?," US News & World Report, June 21, 2018.
"Paying Tipped Workers Better Wouldn’t Lead to Fewer Restaurant Jobs," Michael Paarlberg (with Teófilo Reyes), PostEverything, The Washington Post, January 16, 2018.
"Don't Believe the Trump Administration: MS-13 is Not Ravaging the United States," Michael Paarlberg, PostEverything, The Washington Post, October 11, 2017.


"Competing for the Diaspora's Influence at Home: A Case Study of El Salvador" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (forthcoming).

Finds one party in the El Salvador and Salvadoran diaspora to be highly effective in grassroots mobilization of diaspora supporters due to historical legacies of migration and deep infrastructure investment, while its rival party, ARENA, lags due to similar historical legacies.

"Transnational Militancy: Diaspora Influence over Electoral Activity in Latin America" Comparative Politics 49, no. 4 (2017).

Uses survey data and interviews with politicians in Mexico, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic to understand the benefit diaspora communities provide parties and candidates, estimating the effect they have on the political behavior of relatives in home countries, and finding politicians' perception of their impact to be exaggerated.

"Immigrants and Day Laborers" in Contemporary Issues for People of Color: Surviving and Thriving in the U.S. Today: Immigration and Migration, edited by Alvaro Huerta, Norma Iglesias-Prieto, and Donathan L. Brown (Greenwood, 2016).