Current Research

Political economy is most interesting where political institutions are unstable and markets are inefficient.  Under these conditions, intellectual puzzles abound, and academic advances have real potential to save and improve lives. 

My core research is on political risk and foreign investment in emerging markets, focusing particularly on the role of diaspora investors and on the ongoing evolution of international property rights.  I also conduct research on federalism, powersharing, and unrecognized states.

You can also see my research via links from my CV, via my SSRN page, which has all my working papers, or my google scholar profile.

Recent Publications

Powersharing, Protection, and Peace

Power sharing has often been proposed as a potential solution to many of the world's ongoing international conflicts. This paper classifies the three different forms of power sharing and demonstrates their ideal uses in different countries. This study was featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage.

Who’s Ready for ASEAN 2015? Firm Expectations and Preparations in the Philippines

By December 21, 2015, the ASEAN has committed to merge with the AEC, a move that has enormous economic implications for Asian firms. This paper draws upon surveys from 300 mostly multinational firms to develop conclusions about firm profitability and preparedness after the merge. This paper is forthcoming in Pacific Affairs and was featured in the Asia Pacific Memo.

Other Publications

Political Risk and Emerging Markets

Political risk deters foreign investment in emerging markets. I work with Noel Johnston and Allison Kingsley to model how different types of political risk affect the behavior of different types of foreign investors. We have several papers in this area, as well as a book manuscript in progress.

Papers with Johnston and Kingsley:

"A Unified Model of Political Risk." Forthcoming. Advances in Strategic Management. The online appendix is available here.

"Even Constrained Governments Steal: The Domestic Politics of Transfer and Expropriation Risks." Submitted

"The Capital Effects of Information Voids in Emerging Markets" 2014. Revise and Resubmit.

Solo-Authored Work:

"Political Risk and New Firm Entry." Submitted.

Investing in the Homeland

Social ties are important to business, particularly in emerging markets. How do foreign investors who lack these relationships in the investment host country gain access to the social ties they need to conduct business successfully? Diasporans, i.e. migrants and their descendents, offer an answer. I examine the role of diasporans in channeling foreign investment into their homeland in several papers, as well as a book manuscript that is in progress.

As part of this project, I have surveyed the managers of foreign firms operating in two emerging markets: Georgia and the Philippines.

A white paper describing the Georgian survey is available in both English and Georgian. Please contact me if you are interested in the data, I am happy to share it. 

Associated Papers:

"Diaspora-Owned Firms and Social Responsibility." Review of Internaitonal Political Economy, 2013. A gated link is here. To request an ungated copy, please e-mail me. 

Regime Type, Alliance Size, and Victory

Studies of regime type and war reveal that democracies tend to win the wars they fight, but questions remain about why this is the case. A simple explanation is that democracies tend to fight in larger coalitions. We show that democracies have more allies when they go to war, and that states fighting with more allies are more likely to win major contests.  

Associated Paper:

"The Barfight Theory of War: Regime Type, Alliance Size, and Victory.Political Science Research and Methods. 

  • See related Washington Post blog post here.

The Political Economy of Unrecognized States

Unrecognized states are entities that control territory and govern populations but lack recognition as independent states. How are some of these entities able to persist for decades? This project, in collaboration with Kristy Buzard and Ben Horne, uses applied game theory to explore the conditions under which unrecognized statehood persists, and under which peaceful settlement is possible.

Associated Papers:

"Unrecognized States:  A Theory of Self-Determination and Foreign Influence." 2014. (with Ben Horne and Kristy Buzard). Conditionally Accepted at The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.

Nagorno-Karabakh in Limbo.” Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 16 (4), 2009. 

Inclusion, Dispersion, and Constraint: The Effects of Powersharing

The Powersharing, Agency, and Civil Conflict dataset records the institutions through which power is shared and divided between groups. We code over 30 variables for 180 countries 1975-2010. We are using this data to explore the effects of powersharing on civil conflict and on democratizaiton and democratic survival. 

Primary Investigators: Scott Gates and Kaare Strom

Other Collaborators: Håvard StrandYonatan Lupu, and Michael Miller.

Associated Papers:

"Inclusion, Dispersion, and Constraint: Powersharing in the World’s States, 1975-2010." British Journal of Political Science.

"Powersharing, Protection, and Peace." Journal of Politics.

  • A related Washington Post article here

"Does Formal or Informal Power Sharing Produce Peace?" Submitted.

"Variations in Federalism: Explaining Subnational Policy Authority." Submitted.

"Powersharing and Democratic Development."

International Political Economy Data Resource

The IPE Data Resource combines 70 commonly used country-year datasets into a single entity, with a focus on component datasets relevant to the field of IPE. I hope this may be of use both to researchers gathering variables for robustness checks and to methods instructors who want students getting their hands dirty with real data, but want to limit the time devoted to data management. 

The dataset introduction paper via SSRN
The data and codebook are available via Dataverse