My Unpublished Work

(Sadly) Abandoned work

"Can Appearing “Attractive” Undermine One’s Career Development?"


Does appearing “attractive” undermine women’s chances for promotion? Although the sex ratio at birth is nearly equal in most advanced democracies, none has achieved gender parity in leadership. Indeed, political and economic power around the world is still disproportionately held by men. This project aims to deepen our understanding of why gender inequality in leadership persists. Researchers have identified gender stereotypes, a lack of role models, and unevenly shared care responsibilities as barriers for women to become leaders in politics and business. A growing literature also suggests that considerations of “attractiveness” serve to undermine women, perhaps most infamously seen in Hillary Clinton’s tight-rope act to appear both competent and relatable in her 2016 presidential campaign. Here, I identify two problems in the literature. First, scholars study different kinds of attractiveness separately. Second, while the literature largely studies women leaders, we know very little about how considerations of attractiveness can hinder women’s careers before they ever reach positions of leadership. The proposed project will provide a bottom-up analysis of how considerations of attractiveness can hinder the career trajectories of women in entry-level positions in politics and business. I simultaneously examine two kinds of attractiveness – physical and behavioral – and hypothesize that they affect women differently in different stages of their careers. The project adopts a comparative approach. The projectwill make use of interviews, focus group discussions, and surveys to examine how women and men negotiate different attractiveness considerations.

"Twin Global Disruptions and Societal Transformations"


Today, advanced democracies face two interconnected challenges that create significant opportunities but also profound uncertainties and resentment within the societies – they are embedded in a global process of increasing economic and cultural integration, while they experience the so-called fourth industrial revolution where technological innovation becomes the norm. Both phenomena have created winners and losers, and will continue to do so. However, contemporary debates give the impression that underlying mechanisms are the same – losers of globalization and technological innovation accumulate resentment to status quo, while the gap in wealth and power between winners and losers expands. Still, there are important cross-cutting logics in the two disruption processes, while important differences between the two also exist. For example, winners of globalization may accumulate more wealth and power by benefiting from technological innovation, while losers of globalization may become winners of technological innovation, or become victims of the two processes. Further, the effect of each disruption process may differ significantly – for instance, losers of automation may not resent robots in the same way as losers of globalization resenting foreign workers, partly because robots are not humans. By acknowledging the variations, this paper develops a theory of the twin global disruptions and examines the theory by combining cross-sectional time-series data with original survey experiments.

"Resource Extraction, Inequality, and Prosocial Behavior in Peru"


Achieving technological, institutional, and social transformations to mitigate climate change and environmental degradation is a pressing challenge across societies, but especially fraught where a steep trade-off between sustainability and economic development exists, and where the costs and benefits of natural resource extraction are unequally distributed across social groups. In these contexts, negative externalities of development and environmental degradation disproportionately affect marginalized communities. This uneven burden undermines social cohesion and political stability, as well as the long-run economic growth and the wellbeing of future generations. We conducted a survey experiment in Peru to study the conditions under which individuals engage in solidarity across groups to improve the sustainability of economic development and mitigate the uneven burden of environmental degradation in highly unequal societies. More specifically, we conducted a combined conjoint and vignette survey experiment with 1,600 randomly selected citizens across 17 cities in Peru in March 2017 to examine the conditions under which urban residents were willing to invest in, and share the costs for, mitigating externalities of mining activities that predominantly affected rural areas and marginalized groups. Our preliminary analysis yielded three main findings. First, respondents were less willing to share the costs of reducing externalities in mining regions as the costs for doing so increased. Second, respondents showed in-group favoritism: they were the least willing to share the costs of certain minority out-groups. Third, respondents showed similar response patterns under conditions that tried to activate prosocial norms or elicit empathy.

"What Explains Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Evidence from a Conjoint Survey Experiment in Japan"


An emerging academic consensus contends that economic self-interest alone cannot explain individual attitudes towards immigrants in rich democracies. A recent welter of studies points to some combination of “sociotropic” concern for the nation’s overall economy, generalized worries about fiscal drain, and/or fear of a dilution of cultural “purity” interacting with specific concerns about competition for wages or jobs. By contrast, this paper integrates the self-interest approach into the sociotropic approach in a systematic way and offers more nuanced view about individual attitudes toward immigrants. By combining a survey experiment with timely observational data on labor scarcity in Japan, we find that natives generally prefer skilled immigrants, but the preference also depends on labor market conditions. In labor-scarce industries where there is less competition, low-skilled natives prefer to have low-skilled immigrants. Yet, low-skilled natives are more likely to oppose immigrants with similar skill-sets in labor-abundant industries.

“Coordination, Commitment, and the Goldilocks Principle in Alliance Institutionalization "


Alliance treaties vary considerably in degree of institutionalization. Whereas many alliances are limited to the formal treaty, others entail elaborate organizational structures. Existing research indicates that institutionalization affects the implications of alliances, but has less to say about what shapes the choice of alliance institutions. We develop a theory to explain differences in the institutionalization of military alliances as a response to overcome coordination and commitment problems. The characteristics of member states shape the specific concerns over coordination, commitments, and autonomy, which in turn give rise to different demands for more or less institutionalization in an alliance. We test core implications of our theory empirically, and find support for our claim that more complex alliances are more likely to see more institutionalization, while alliances with more democratic members are more likely to set up mechanisms for deliberation, but not alliances with permanent organizations and autonomous leadership. By contrast, we find limited evidence that asymmetric alliances, and the implied hierarchy under leading states, make institutionalization obsolete and hence less likely.

“Why Do Dictators Hold Liberal Elections?"


Why do some authoritarian leaders hold elections they might lose? Contrary to the resource curse literature arguing that nontax revenues – typically derived from oil and foreign aid – reduce the likelihood of political liberalization, I argue that moderate amounts of nontax revenues bring about liberalization by increasing dictators’ chances of staying in power after elections. The effect of nontax revenues on liberalization, however, changes over time because rent dictators will provide to their supporters decreases as their rule weakens. The logic behind this argument is that the amount of nontax revenues affects dictators’ calculation over post-election fates. Using an original dataset on dictators between 1960 and 2004, I provide evidence for the spatial and temporal variation in liberal elections across autocracies.