My Unpublished Work

(Sadly) Abandoned work

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


Under what conditions are citizens and politicians in unequal societies willing to share the costs associated with transformations to sustainability? This paper examines how the propensity of citizens -- who are not directly affected by illegal and legal mining -- to contribute to the mitigation of environmental degradation can be triggered and sustained. A conjoint analysis was conducted with 1,600 randomly selected citizens across 17 urban Peruvian cities via a face-to-face interview. We find that respondents were primarily selfish: they were less willing to share the costs of reducing externalities in mining regions, as the costs for doing so increased. We also find that respondents showed in-group favoritism: they were the least willing to share the costs of minority out-groups, in particular Asian out-groups. However, we encounter a null-finding for our prime experiment: different kinds of strategy including a visual treatment have a little impact on eliciting sympathy from citizens who are far from the affected regions.

"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.