My dissertation abstract is available here.
My research statement is available upon request.

Working Papers

This paper provides a new framework for analyzing how the quality of commercial arbitration regimes affects sourcing patterns by introducing arbitration into a two-country sourcing model. In this model, final good producers in each country source a customized intermediate input domestically or globally. Commercial arbitration may be invoked when opportunistic behavior occurs, such as shaving investment quality and not paying in full for an investment. An arbitrator determines awards by fully verifying investments. Nonetheless, opportunism is not removed due to the national commercial arbitration regimes' imperfect support for enforcement of awards. I show that relative global sourcing rises (falls) with each country's quality of international (domestic) commercial arbitration regimes. Relative global sourcing also decreases with the degree of requiring relationship-specific transactions to produce the intermediate input. These predictions are empirically supported using a new measure I build for the qualities of domestic and international commercial arbitration regimes.

2. "The Interrelation between Formal and Informal Institutions through International Trade."

This paper develops a two-country, two-sector, two-factor model in which formal institutions endogenously arise based on exogenously endowed informal institutions. In the model, formal and informal institutions substitute for one another in generating institutional quality, expressed as a CES aggregate form of the two institutions. Institutional quality governs the productivity of the institutionally intensive sector and the trade cost coming from imperfect contract enforcement. General equilibrium results show that in open economies, formal institutions tend to increase with informal institutions through improving institutional comparative advantage and lowering the trade cost. This creates a contrast in that formal institutions fall with informal institutions under autarky. These results reveal a new role of trade as a catalyst in developing formal institutions in a country with rich informal institutions.

* This second paper is available upon request.

This paper provides new empirical evidence of the positive causal effect of institutional comparative advantage on the quality of institutions. My cross-sectional analysis uses a novel measure I construct for country-level institutional comparative advantage using the revealed comparative advantage index. To show the causal relationship, variation in countries' population densities averaged over the past 30 years is utilized to provide exogenous variation in institutional comparative advantage between the countries. According to the instrumental variable estimation results, a 1 percent rise in institutional comparative advantage contributes to at least a 0.12-0.22 percent increase in institutional quality.