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Michael Ahn Paarlberg

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University
Chapter Member: Virginia SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Michael

Paarlberg's research focuses on immigration, labor, and security issues in the US and Latin America. Overarching themes in Paarlberg's writings include the influence diaspora communities have over politics in their home countries; labor conditions of low wage workers, gangs and corruption, and the criminalization of immigrants. Paarlberg is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and was a Latin America Policy Advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign.


In the News

Regular op-ed contributions by Michael Ahn Paarlberg to The Guardian.
Opinion: "What is the Real Effect of the Tipped Minimum Wage Increase?," Michael Ahn Paarlberg, Data for Progress, October 31, 2018.
Opinion: "Académico Estadounidense Derrumba el Mito de que Pinochet Mejoró la Economía Chilena," Michael Ahn Paarlberg, CNN Chile, September 13, 2018.
Research discussed by Susan Milligan, in "Is Raising Wages for Tipped Workers Worth It?," US News & World Report, June 21, 2018.
Opinion: "Paying Tipped Workers Better Wouldn’t Lead to Fewer Restaurant Jobs," Michael Ahn Paarlberg (with Teófilo Reyes), The Washington Post, January 16, 2018.
Opinion: "Don't Believe the Trump Administration: MS-13 is Not Ravaging the United States," Michael Ahn Paarlberg, 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).