GRADUATE STUDENT | KAI QUEK
Kai Quek is a PhD candidate in international relations and political economy. His dissertation is the first integrated study of rationalist causes of war that combines randomized experiments and game-theoretic models with fine-grained archival research on decision-making in historical crises. In the rationalist theory of war, asymmetric information and the commitment problem are the key causes of war. His dissertation identifies the causal effects of these factors - and the conditional mechanisms that regulate their effects - with experimental and observational methods.
Beyond his dissertation, he is involved in three specific research programs: (1) Evaluating the risk of nuclear war under different strategic-interaction situations with experimental tests; (2) studying international signaling behavior in high-resolution empirical detail; and (3) identifying public policy pathologies through fieldwork and experimental trials.
His research combines substantive interests with practical methodological applications. Substantive interests: Causes of war and peace; international relations of East Asia; global-level strategic interactions; local-level policy pathologies. Methodological applications: the use of fieldwork and experimental trials to improve local public policies; the integration of models, experiments and historical research in the study of strategic interaction.
"Rationalist Experiments on War." Paper prepared for the American Political Science Association Annual Conference. Seattle: September 2011. (pdf)
"Discontinuities in China's Signaling Behavior Upon Its Decision For War." Paper prepared for the International Studies Association Annual Conference. San Diego: April 2012. (pdf)
"Nuclear Proliferation and the Risk of Nuclear War: Experimental Tests." Paper prepared for the American Political Science Association Annual Conference. New Orleans: August 2012.(pdf)
"Reductions in Audience Costs Under Realistic Conditions: A Survey Experiment." Paper prepared for the American Political Science Association Annual Conference. New Orleans: August 2012.
"Using Mechanical Turk as a Subject Pool in Developing Countries." Paper prepared for the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. Chicago: April 2012. (With Adam Berinsky and Michael Sances).