Shin Kikuchi


Fourth-year PhD student at MIT Econ

Field: Macro, Trade, Political Economy, Labor.


In Progress

Decomposing the Rise of the Populist Radical Right
with Oren Danieli, Noam Gidron, and Ro’ee Levy

Abstract Support for populist radical right parties in Europe has dramatically increased in the twenty-first century. We decompose the rise of the populist radical right between 2005-2020 into four components: changes in party positions, changes in voter characteristics (demographics and opinions), changes in voters' priorities, and a residual. We merge data on party positions from the Comparative Manifesto Project with data on voter characteristics from the Integrated Value Survey. Using a probabilistic voting model, we estimate voting priorities: the parameters of the utility function, which determine the weights voters place on different party positions, given their characteristics. We find that shifts in party positions and changes in voter characteristics explain only a negligible part of the rise of the populist radical right. Instead, the main driver behind the success of populist radical right parties lies in voters' changing priorities: voters---mainly older, non-unionized low-educated males---increasingly place a higher priority on cultural issues compared to economic issues. This allows populist radical right parties to tap into a preexisting reservoir of culturally conservative voters.

Automation and Comparative Advantage

Abstract I study how automation affects comparative advantage. In the past centuries, the initial stages of economic development featured comparative advantage in low-skill-intensive sectors due to low-skill-labor abundance, as predicted by the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem. I show, however, that this relationship has weakened—or even reversed—in the 21st century. This decoupling/reversal occurs because automation provides developed countries with endogenous comparative advantage in low-skill-intensive sectors. My counterfactual analysis shows that recent developing countries would have specialized in low-skill intensive sectors and enjoyed more gains from trade, as East Asian countries did, without automation in developed countries.

Minimum Wage and Technology