Shin Kikuchi

I am a PhD student at MIT Economics.

My research interests are Economic Growth, International Trade, and Political Economy.

Links/PDF: Email, CV


“Decomposing the Rise of the Populist Radical Right” [Download PDF]
with Oren Danieli, Noam Gidron, and Ro’ee Levy
Last Updated, Aug. 2023

Abstract Support for populist radical right parties in Europe has dramatically increased in recent years. We decompose the rise of these parties from 2005 to 2020 into four components: shifts in party positions, changes in voter attributes (opinions and demographics), changes in voter priorities, and a residual. We merge two wide datasets on party positions and voter attributes and estimate voter priorities using a probabilistic voting model. We find that shifts in party positions and changes in voter attributes do not play a major role in the recent success of populist radical right parties. Instead, the primary driver behind their electoral success lies in voters’ changing priorities. Particularly, voters are less likely to decide which party to support based on parties’ economic positions. Rather, voters—mainly older, non-unionized, low-educated men—increasingly prioritize nativist cultural positions. This allows populist radical right parties to tap into a preexisting reservoir of culturally conservative voters. Using the same datasets, we provide a set of reduced-form evidence supporting our results. First, while parties’ positions have changed, these changes are not consistent with the main supply-side hypothesis for populist support. Second, on aggregate, voters have not adopted populist right-wing opinions. Third, voters are more likely to self-identify ideologically based on their cultural rather than their economic opinions.

“Welfare Effects of Polarization: Occupational Mobility over the Life-cycle” [Download PDF]
with Sagiri Kitao
Last Updated, July 2020

Abstract What are the welfare effects of polarization: wage and employment losses of middle-class workers relative to low- and high-skill groups? We build a model of overlapping generations who choose consumption, savings, labor supply, and occupations over their life-cycles, and accumulate human capital. We simulate a wage shift observed since the early 1980s and investigate individuals’ responses. Polarization improves welfare of young individuals that are high-skilled, while it hurts low-skilled individuals across all ages and especially younger ones. The gain of the high-skilled is larger for generations entering in later periods, who can fully exploit the rising skill premium.


“Automation and Comparative Advantage”
Presented at Keio (Oct. 2022), Canon Global Institute (Dec. 2022), Columbia (Feb. 2023), Osaka (Apr. 2023), SWET (Aug. 2023)

Abstract I study how automation affects comparative advantage and structural change in an open economy. Previously, the initial stages of economic development featured comparative advantage in low-skill-intensive manufacturing sectors because of low-skill-labor abundance. Recently, however, I show that this relationship has weakened—or even reversed. This decoupling occurs because automation provides developed countries with endogenous comparative advantage in low-skill-intensive and automatable sectors. Therefore, developing countries today do not specialize in low-skill intensive manufacturing sectors and jump onto service sectors.