Su-Hyun Lee

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Lee 2012

Doctoral Student
Comparative Politics

  • Fields of Study
    • Comparative Politics, IR/World Politics, Political Economy, East Asia
  • About

    Su-Hyun Lee received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan in December 2012. Currently, she is working as a research associate for the Constituency-Level Elections Archive Project at the Center for Political Studies. Her research interests lie in comparative and international political economy, including international trade, globalization, development, and (re)distributive politics. She is mainly interested in understanding the interactions between economic liberalization, domestic politics, and public policymaking around the world.

    In her dissertation, Su-Hyun explores the political and economic determinants of the structure of trade protection in democracies. Contrary to previous research that has mainly focused on collective lobbying efforts of interest groups, she examines the ways in which constituent preferences for trade openness and the incentives of political parties to optimize their electoral prospects interactively influence the distribution of protectionist rents across the electorate. Her dissertation generates two key findings. First, using sectoral data on tariff and nontariff protection and district-level election outcomes in the United States from 1989 to 2004, she finds that industries geographically concentrated in electorally marginal constituencies are more likely to receive higher levels of protection than those in safe constituencies and that marginality also increases the responsiveness of public officials to protectionist demands in setting trade policies. Second, relying on national and sub-national data on protectionist measures, political institutions, and macroeconomic outcomes, she demonstrates that the extent to which electoral institutions moderate the rent-seeking behavior of individual legislators explains variation in the skill-bias in trade policy across democracies.

    Her other research projects have focused on congressional voting on trade bills, the allocation of government transfers in India (with Allen Hicken), the political and economic origins of regionalism in Korea, and the relationship between globalization and labor rights in developing countries.

  • Education
    • Korea University, M.A. in Political Science
    • Korea University, B.A. in Political Science
  • Awards
    • Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship, University of Michigan 2012
    • Departmental Thesis Grant, University of Michigan 2011
    • Sweetland-Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2010
    • Summer Research Collaboration Grant, University of Michigan, 2009-2010
    • EITM Summer Institute Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2009
  • Presentations
    • “The Political Geography of U.S. Trade Policy: An Empirical Investigation.” Paper presented at the Annual convention of the International Studies Association, San Diego, CA, April 2012 and the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 2012
    • “Globalization, Democratic Institutions, and Inequality” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Seattle, WA, September 2011
    • “The Politics of Partisanship in U.S. Trade Policy” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 2011
  • Dissertation Title
    • Interests, Institutions, and Trade Politics in Democracies
  • Dissertation Chair
    • Robert Franzese
  • Dissertation Committee
    • Robert Franzese, William Clark, Allen Hicken, George Tsebelis, Alan Deardorff (Economics)