Research

Published articles:

1. Building cooperation among groups in conflict: An experiment on intersectarian cooperation in Lebanon. American Journal of Political Science. Early view. Coauthored with Leonid Peisakhin (NYUAD).

2. Why do the poor oppose income redistribution? An empirical test on the impacts of nationalism and fatalism, Social Science Journal. Early view. Coauthored with Woo Chang Kang (Australian National University).

3. Political inequality, centralized sanctioning institutions, and the maintenance of public goods, Bulletin of Economic Research, 2018, 74(3):251-268. Coauthored with Christopher Dawes (NYU) and Tim Johnson (Willamette University).

4. Trust, economic development, and attitudes toward immigration, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 2018, 51(2):357-378. Coauthored with Woo Chang Kang (ANU).

5. “I can’t do it if you’re watching”: Monitoring and reciprocity in clientelism, Social Science Journal, 2017, 54(2): 191-205.



Working Papers:

1. A behaivoral model of reciprocity in clientelism: I propose a formal model of reciprocity in clientelism, applying Dufwenberg and Kirchsteiger's (2004) equilibrium concept, sequential reciprocity equilibrium, to three electoral scenarios: no detection, turnout detection, and vote choice detection. If voters are motivated not only by material payoffs but also by psychological payoffs resulting from engaging in the reciprocal exchange of votes for private goods, a politician can induce support from even strong opposers on policy grounds without relying on a detection mechanism. Furthermore, reciprocity increases economic efficiency from the politician's side, because the amount of private goods required for reciprocal voters is smaller than the amount required for purely materialistic voters. I conclude by discussing the implications of the equilibria, including suggestions for empirical research on reciprocity and policy recommendations for reducing clientelism.

2. Moblie phone users as pseudo-brokers in clientelism: Evidence from Africa (Coauthored with Su-Hyun Lee, Nanyang Technological University): Despite a vast literature on clientelism, the impact that communications technology and social networks have on clientelistic exchanges remains understudied. In order to advance our understanding of those effects, we examine whether or not politicians target mobile phone users in order to benefit from the cascading effect of providing private transfers to individuals who can easily share persuasive messages with their communication partners. Analyzing data from the fifth wave of the Afrobarometer survey, we find that mobile phone users are more likely to be targeted, but that their chances of being targeted decrease as their feeling of being monitored rises. In addition, the data show the effectiveness of targeting mobile phone users: mobile phone users are more likely to persuade others to vote for a certain politician upon receiving private transfers.

3. The reciprocal impact of poverty on clientelism: Observational and experimental evidence: This article explores the operation of clientelism through the channel of poverty. Using data from the fifth wave of the Afrobarometer survey, I test three competing accounts that emphasize individual monitoring, reciprocity norms, and collective sanctioning as potential explanations. The findings indicate that only the reciprocity account is consistent with the data. I additionally conduct a lab experiment to address potential concerns about the internal validity of the findings and to verify a specific mechanism through which reciprocity affects clientelistic offers via poverty; the results suggest that the difference in voting costs between poor and rich voters is more crucial than the difference in the marginal utility of a private transfer between the two groups of voters. I conclude by discussing a policy implication and suggesting research topics for future studies.

4. "You know I will vote for your boss, but really nothing for me?" The Hidden cost of a broker's expertise in clientelism: Drawing on studies in social science, this study examines unexplored possibilities that a broker affects vote choices via psychological channels. First, the presence of a broker may encourage a clientelistic exchange between a politician and a voter by reducing the voter’s moral cost of vote-selling due to the diluted directness of the exchange. Second, given that the information a broker utilizes for the efficient delivery of private transfers would enhance particular voters’ expectations of receiving those transfers, neglected voters may defect from voting for the broker’s boss out of anger resulting from the frustrated expectations. Both experimental and observational data appear to be consistent with the second possibility. This result suggests that broker expertise may constitute to the politician a cost that is hidden as long as she sticks to an original clientelistic strategy.



New projects:

1. Vote buying as a signaling game. Lab experiment data collection completed. Field experiment data will be collected in Kenya. With Danny Choi (University of Pennsylvania).

2. The impact of the 2018 North Korea-United States summit on South Koreans' attitudes toward North Korean refugees: Between-subjects design around the summit. With Woo Chang Kang (ANU).

3. The effects of anti-Muslim sentiment on South Korean citizens' attitudes toward asylum seekers: An experiment study. With Woo Chang Kang (ANU).

4. Gender effects in coordination. With Aurelie Dariel (NYUAD), Nikos Nikiforakis (NYUAD), and Alicja Reuben (NYUAD). Lab experimental data collection completed; working on the manuscript.