My research is built around understanding the relationship between interest organization and economic development in advanced industrial democracies. I also have a strong interest in the political economies of France and Japan. My dissertation project examines the political causes and effects of increasing labor market segmentation in these these and other social insurance welfare states.
Prior to my time at MIT I studies economics, politics and Japanese at the University of California, Berkeley.
I received a Fulbright (IIE) award to conduct field work in Tokyo, Japan from July 2009 for twelve months at the Institute of Social Science (社会科学研究所), where I was also a visitor in the summer of 2008. I have also spent time at the Centre d'études et de recherches internationales (CERI) at Sciences Po. I also completing field work in Paris, France as a visiting researcher at the Centre d'études européennes at Sciences Po in 2010-11.
In my thesis project I explored the political causes of increasing bifurcation in the labor markets many of the most affluent democracies. I also ask what are the political and economic effects of this bifurcation across countries. To gain leverage on these issues I have chosen to examine the politics of labor market regulation of France and Japan, two countries that have experienced substantial labor market segmentation over the past two decades. They differ however in the extent to which labor market segmentation has translated into poverty, social exclusion and precariousness.
My field work reveals that the structure of the labor movement and its degree of integration into the policy making process profoundly affects the type of regulations for non-standard work: the more formally incorporated are unions, and the more corporatist the policy making environment, the less likely non-standard workers' preferences will be reflected in policy. This dynamic explains why social insurance welfare states such as Germany and Japan with a more formalized role for unions in the policy making process have permitted a substantial degree of liberalization for part time, contract and dispatch workers in response to economic slowdown. France, on the other hand, has not liberalized to the same extent despite the institutionally weaker position of unions.