Munseob Lee

Assistant Professor of Economics, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Director, Korea-Pacific Program

Research Fields: Macroeconomics, Economic Growth, Development Economics

Affiliations: CRIW, IZA

Email: (or


Working Papers:

The Plant-Level View of an Industrial Policy: The Korean Heavy Industry Drive of 1973 (with Minho Kim and Yongseok Shin)

Bias in the PCE Price Index (with David Argente and Chang-Tai Hsieh)

Minority Unemployment, Inflation, and Monetary Policy (with Claudia Macaluso and Felipe Schwartzman)

Land Reform, Human Capital Accumulation, and Structural Transformation (with Minki Kim), draft coming soon

Government Purchases and Firm Growth, revise and resubmit at American Economic Journal: Applied Economics


[12] Does Turnover Inhibit Specialization? Evidence from a Skill Survey in Peru, accepted at American Economic Review: Insights, with Andrea Atencio-De-Leon and Claudia Macaluso.

[11] Allocation of Female Talent and Cross-Country Productivity Differences, accepted at Economic Journal.

[10] The US Structural Transformation and Regional Convergence: Racial Heterogeneity, accepted at Journal of Applied Econometrics, with Minki Kim.

[9] The Plant-Level View of Korea's Growth Miracle and Slowdown, accepted at Canadian Journal of Economics, with Yongseok Shin.

[8] The Life Cycle of Products: Evidence and Implications, Journal of Political Economy, Volume 132, Number 2, February 2024, pp.337-390 (lead article), with David Argente and Sara Moreira.
Press: LSE Business Review, UC San Diego Today

[7] Measuring the Cost of Living in Mexico and the United States, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Vol. 15, No. 3, July 2023, pp.43-63, with David Argente and Chang-Tai Hsieh.

[6] Regional Redistribution through SBA Guaranteed Loan Programs, Journal of Corporate Finance, Volume 78, February 2023, Article 102344, with Churn Ken Lee.

[5] Do Resource Windfalls Improve Standard of Living in sub-Saharan African Countries?, Applied Economics, Volume 55, Issue 9, 2023, pp.944-962, with Cheikh Anta Gueye.

[4] The Cost of Privacy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of COVID-19 Cases, Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 104, Issue 1, January 2022, pp.176-186, with David Argente and Chang-Tai Hsieh.
Press: KPBS (audio), New York Times, Washington Post, Fast Company, UC Newsroom

[3] COVID-19, Commuting Flows, and Air Quality, Journal of Asian Economics, Volume 77, December 2021, Article 101374, with Rachel Finerman.

[2] Cost of Living Inequality during the Great Recession, Journal of the European Economic Association, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2021, pp.913-952, with David Argente.
Press: Philadelphia Inquirer, Speech by Governor Lael Brainard

[1] Innovation and Product Reallocation in the Great Recession, Journal of Monetary Economics, Volume 93, January 2018, pp.1-20 (lead article), with David Argente and Sara Moreira.

Book Chapters:

[1] High-Skill Immigration, Innovation, and Creative Destruction, In: The Roles of Immigrants and Foreign Students in US Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. University of Chicago Press, February 2020, pp.73-98, with Gaurav Khanna
Press: CBS 8, Fox 5, San Diego Union Tribune, Dice Insights, Bloomberg, UC Newsroom

Federal Reserve Bank Policy Notes:

[3] Do Black Households Face Higher and More Volatile Inflation?Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Brief, No. 22-25, July 2022.
Press: ABC 10 (video), WPFW (audio), NBC 7, Fox 5KPBS, Bloomberg, MarketWatchNewsweek, UC Newsroom

[2] Cost of Living Inequality beyond the Great Recession, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Presentation Brief, April 2022, with David Argente.
Press: CNN Business

[1] Price Volatility Faced by Black and White Households, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Presentation Brief, April 2022, with Claudia Macaluso and Felipe Schwartzman.
Press: Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC News, Defender

Book Reviews:

[1] Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop, Journal of Asian Studies, Volume 83, Issue 2, May 2024.


2024-25: Macroeconomics of Development (PhD, syllabus), Fiscal and Monetary Policy (Master), The Korean Economy (Master), Capstone Seminar in International Studies (Undergraduate)

PhD Students (dissertation committee member in economics otherwise noted)

2024: Edoardo Briganti (Bank of Canada), Junyuan Chen (UC San Diego post-doc), Rohini Ray

2023: Shunsuke Hori (Hitotsubashi University), Minki Kim (University of Mannheim), Tyler Paul (University of Toronto teaching stream)

2022: Jacob Orchard (Federal Reserve Board), Mitchell VanVuren (Yale University post-doc)

2021: Alejandro Nakab (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella), Wendy Zeng (US Department of Agriculture)

2020: Olga Denislamova (University of Toronto teaching stream), Daniel Leff (Wayfair Inc.), Daniela Vidart (University of Connecticut)

current: Molly Shatto, Paula Donaldson, Meenakshi Balakrishna (quantitative marketing)


2024 KAEA Young Scholar Award, The Korea-America Economic Association (KAEA)

2023 Sherman Family Korea Emerging Scholar Lecture Award, The Korea Society

2023 Faculty Career Development Program, UC San Diego
recognizing and rewarding individuals who have promoted diversity and equal opportunity, Diversity Statement (February 2023)

Seminar Organization

UC San Diego Global Economy Workshop, Fall 2023 (w/ Fabian Eckert), Fall 2022 (w/ Fabian Eckert), Spring 2022 (w/ Fabian Trottner), Fall 2020 (w/ Jim Rauch), Fall 2019 (w/ Tom Vogl), Spring 2019 (w/ Jim Rauch)

UC San Diego Development Seminar, Fall 2024 (w/ Sam Bazzi)

UC San Diego Korea-Pacific Program Seminar, 2024, 2023, 2019-20 (w/ Stephan Haggard)

SNU-UC San Diego Joint Webinar Series2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 (w/ Jungmin Lee)