GRADUATE STUDENT | RACHEL WELLHAUSEN
Rachel Wellhausen is a PhD candidate in international political economy and comparative politics. Her dissertation seeks to explain why, in an era of economic globalization, emerging economy governments can sometimes break their commitments to protect foreign investors' property rights. She finds that economic integration need not move together with property rights protections. Instead, integration with investors from more diverse national origins reinforces host countries' autonomy, including the autonomy to act contrary to rule of law. Foreign investors of the same nationality share political risks to contract sanctity as well as diplomatic resources to fight contract disputes. As a result, firms are more likely to act in ways costly to host governments when co-national firms' contracts are broken. The counterintuitive implication is that the greater the heterogeneity of foreign investor nationalities in a host country, the more space the host government has to trade off one national group's contract sanctity in favor of domestic goals. Evidence includes cross-national quantitative analysis and casework drawn from 130 interviews of foreign investors in Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania. Rachel also has interests in the political economy of emerging technologies; she is a former NSF IGERT Trainee and is currently a Fellow of MIT's interdisciplinary initiative on Production in the Innovation Economy. Rachel is an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University and a Fellow of the SSRC Eurasia Program.
"When Governments Break Contracts: Foreign investor-government relations in emerging economies." Under review.
Presented at American Political Science Association, 2011, 2010.
Presented at "Resources in Eurasia: Wealth, Scarcity, or Curse?" SSRC Eurasia Program and Georgetown University, 2009.
"Who Wants to Reject or Repair Privatization? Explaining public support for weakening property rights." Presented at Midwest Political Science Association, 2010.
"Beyond Expropriation: Variation in Ukraine's contract breaches with foreign investors." Presented at Danyliw Research Seminar in Contemporary Ukrainian Studies, Ottawa, Canada, 2010.
"Aspects of the Political Economy of Development and Synthetic Biology." Systems and Synthetic Biology 3(1): 115-123, 2009. (with Gautam Mukunda) [Peer-reviewed special issue].
"The Intellectual Commons and Property in Synthetic Biology." Chapter in Markus Schmidt (editor), Synthetic Biology: The Technoscience and its Societal Consequences, Springer Academic Publishing, 2009. (with Kenneth A. Oye).
"The Internationalization of Research and Development and its Distribution." Working paper.