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I am a sociology PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. I study inequality, culture, religion, and organizations, using mostly quantitative methods.


Published Work

Hastings, Orestes P. and D. Michael Lindsay. 2013. “Rethinking Religious Gender Differences: The Case of Elite Women.” Sociology of Religion 74 (4): 471-495 (html) (pdf)

Though most research finds women are more religious than men, we find the opposite in a survey of former White House Fellows. Based on our survey and in-depth interviews, we suggest aspiring women may not benefit from religion the same way men do, that religious institutions often do not provide as much support for elite women as elite men, and that scholars need finer-grained measures of professional accomplishment and social standing to understand gender differences in religion.

Hout, Michael and Orestes P. Hastings. Forthcoming. "Faith, Jobs, Money, and Happiness during the Great Recession, 2006-10." in Religion and Inequality in America: Research and Theory on Religion's Role in Stratification, edited by Lisa A. Keister and Darren E. Sherkat. New York: Cambridge University Press. (Working paper version available here at the Stanford Center for Poverty and Inequality Working Paper Series.)

Using the 2006-2008-2010 GSS panel, we test explanations of changing church attendance, family income, and marital status to understand why Americans were less happy in 2010 than 2006. We find significant effects from changing family incomes--especially in response to job loss--and changes in marital status.

Hout, Michael and Orestes P. Hastings. 2012. “Reliability Estimates for GSS Core Items.” GSS Methodological Report #119. Chicago: NORC.

We assess the reliability and stability of the 265 core items in the General Social Survey. Thirty percent have reliability coefficients greater than 0.85, and 32% are between 0.7 and 0.85 (which we think is pretty good). Some instability can be explained by the economic recession of 2007-09 and the election of Obama in 2008.


I have been a Graduate Student Instructor for Soc 5 (Undergraduate Methods) and Soc 271B and 271C (a two-semester graduate statistics course for first-year sociology PhD students), and I have a been a reader for several undergraduate lecture classes.

I currently consult at D-Lab.

I taught a Stata for Beginners Intensive. If you attended one of these sessions, you may be looking for the notes, which are here.

About Me

I am currently working on a PhD in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently I am interested in far too many things, among them are inequality, unemployment, happiness, fertility, marriage, contextual effects, social connectedness, the Spiritual But Not Religious, religious nones, congregational community and support, social networks, and survey methods. My research projects utilize individual level data from the General Social Survey, Portraits or American Life Study, and American Community Survey, and area level data from Vital Statistics, SEER, and BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

After growing up near Austin, Texas, I studied physics and math at Rice University. Before graduate school, I was a campus minister and then a postbaccalaureate research fellow for professor Michael Lindsay, working on the White House Fellows project. In our free time, my wife and I enjoy climbing, running, and visiting our favorite faith community. In January 2013 we met Patterson and find we don't have much free time anymore.

Extra (Even More About Me)

In addition to the incredible resources in Berkeley's sociology department, I have benefited from ties with the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and RPGP; an outstanding econometrics course in the Agriculture and Resource Economics department; sporadic attendance at the Haas Management of Organizations Seminars; and collaborations with Mike Hout, Michael Lindsay, Nick Adams, and Danny Schneider.

My current preferred tools are Stata, LaTeX, Evernote, Omnifocus, a Macbook Pro, and Philz Coffee.

As an undergraduate I worked some things that became papers (one, incidentally, with a Nobel Prize Winner):

L. Lorini, N. Ashby, A. Brusch, S. Diddams, R. Drullinger, E. Eason, T. Fortier, P. Hastings, T. Heavner, D. Hume, W. Itano, S. Jefferts, N. Newbury, T. Parker, T. Rosenband, J. Stalnaker, W. Swann, D. Wineland, and J. Bergquist. 2008. “Recent Atomic Clock Comparisons at NIST” European Physics Journal Special Topics. Volume 163: 19–35. (pdf)
Hastings, Orestes P. and Edison Liang. “2.5 Dimensional Particle-in-Cell Simulations of Relativistic Plasma Collisions” (pdf)

I have an Erdős number of four. You may not care, but some people do. Feel free to publish with me if you would like an Erdős number of five. If you have an Erdős number of two, let's talk...

One of my favorite leisure activities is climbing. On Mountain Project I have a map of some of the places I've climbed.

Finally, I post occasional updates to twitter. My latest tweets are below.