Abstract : Using six waves of the Swedish National Election Studies (SNES) survey data, we investigate the determinants of attitudes towards globalization barriers (trade and immigration) and how important these attitudes are in how people vote. In line with the existing results in the literature, we find that more educated and richer voters support freer trade and more immigration. We also find that conservative voters in Sweden are more likely to prefer freer trade but higher immigration barriers. Once various economic and demographic determinants of globalization barrier preferences along with voters’ ideologies on a liberal-conservative spectrum are controlled for in the analysis of voting behavior, trade barrier preferences lose their statistical significance while attitudes towards immigration barriers remain significant. This suggests that immigration attitudes affect voting behavior through channels involving identity-driven factors that are different from the channels through which more traditional electoral issues, such as trade barriers, work. Focusing on the anti-globalization Swedish Democrats, we confirm that voters with a greater preference for barriers to immigration were more likely to switch their votes to this party from the 2014 to the 2018 election.

Presentations : Jönköping University (Brown Bag Seminar), Syracuse University (Graduate Student Workshop)

Book Chapter

Abstract : This study investigates the relationship between economic growth and democracy by estimating a nation’s production function specified as static and dynamic models using panel data. The production function applies a single time trend, multiple time trends, and general index formulations to the translog production function to capture time effects representing technological changes of unknown forms. In addition, implementing the technology shifters model enabled this study to find possible known channels between economic growth and democracy. Empirical results based on a panel data of 144 countries observed for 1980–2014 show that democracy had a robust positive impact on economic growth. Credit guarantee is one of the most significant positive links between economic growth and democracy. In order to check the robustness of these results, a dynamic model constructed with a flexible adjustment speed and a target level of GDP also is tested.

Presentation : IPDC 2018

Working Paper

Abstract : Re-allocation of labor from less productive sectors to more productive sectors is essential for economic growth. Since only some developing countries achieve productive labor re-allocation, it is important to address its determinants. This paper focuses on the role of unionization in structural change in South Korea and Taiwan whose unionization proceeded rapidly after democratization. I provide detailed dynamics by constructing an index for the degree of unionization for each sector in each region of these two East Asian democracies. The magnitude of growth-enhancing structural change was lower when a sector in a region had a higher degree of unionization. In other words, if a sector had higher labor unionization, the size of the increase in its employment share from the productivity premium was lower. These findings suggest that the institutional properties represented by unionization can affect the dynamics and growth implications of structural change.

Presentations (*=Scheduled) :  Asia Development Bank (ADB), Cornell conference on 100 Years of Economic Development, Jönköping University, ISEAPA African Productivity Conference, Syracuse University, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Corvinus University of Budapest, Korea Development Institute, Korea Labor Institute, Korea Institute of Local Finance


Abstract : This paper studies how trade expansions are related to election outcomes in South Korea. We quantify the degree of export growth as well as import expansion for 240 regions in South Korea by incorporating region-industry-specific labor distributions based on the firm-level census. We implement two-stage least squares estimation to handle the possible simultaneities caused by trade penetration variables adequately. This paper identifies that a region with higher import penetration from China had relatively more support for the conservative presidential candidate in the 2022 presidential election compared to the 2002 presidential election. On the other hand, a region with higher export penetration towards China had relatively smaller support for the conservative presidential candidate in 2022. Adding South Korea’s bilateral trade with Vietnam, another major trading partner of South Korea, provides the same insights. These findings confirm that the heterogeneous local labor market impacts coming from import and export can provide different political preferences of voters and, consequently, different political outcomes.


Abstract : This paper studies what determines voters' attitudes towards protectionist trade policy by focusing on the Philippines and Thailand. Using cross-country survey data collected in 2020, I estimate determinants of trade barrier preference in these two Southeast Asian nations. Econometric specifications are based on the Heckscher-Ohlin type factor endowment approach and specific-factor models. Empirical results support that the theoretical predictions made by the factor endowment approach are successful in explaining individual-level protectionism in the two countries: individuals with higher educational attainment prefer higher trade barriers. However, sector-specific interest predicted by the specific-factor model does not empirically explain the voters' attitudes toward protectionism. This means that, in the Philippines and Thailand, long-run determinants suggested by the factor endowment approach are robust channels, while short-run determinants elaborated by the specific-factor model are not. By applying the identical method to seven Asia-Pacific nations, I find that the positive relationship between educational attainment and the preferred level of protection is unique in the Philippines and Thailand among Asia-Pacific nations with available data.

Work In Progress

Abstract : We suggest an alternative specification of gravity model with adjustment speed of bilateral trade flows and expected free-trade-level of bilateral trade flows. Even though recent developments in gravity model started implementing dynamic nature, their dynamic settings are not enough to show us channel of shocks, adjustment, and determinants of adjustment. By implementing nonlinear estimation method, we are able to test dynamic specification which incorporates adjustment speed of trade flows. Aggregated estimation throughout every industry is suggested in this paper. Our results show that, during the recent decades, the importance of trade policy has increased considerably in explaining the adjustment speed of bilateral trade flow.