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Measuring Chinese Protectionism




17: Political Sciences

Faculty Supervisor:

In Song Kim

Faculty email:


Apply by:



John David Minnich, jminnich@mit.edu

Project Description

The UROP project seeks to measure and quantify the Chinese government’s use of four key forms of non-tariff trade and investment barrier: (1) Forced technology transfer, (2) local content requirements, (3) subsidies, and (4) government procurement. The project’s goals are two-fold. First, it will collect and organize data on each of the above four protectionist tools from a range of sources, including an online repository of Chinese government laws and regulations and Chinese- and English-language media reports. Second, it will use this data to build a data set on China’s use of each protectionist measure from approximately 1995-Present. For the first task, the UROP will develop and implement a tool to automatically scrape large numbers of Chinese government regulations and related media from the web. For the second task, the UROP will work closely with the PI to code and validate the measure of Chinese protectionism based on the collected data.


Proficiency in programming languages such as Python or R and familiarity with web scraping. Ability to read Mandarin Chinese and interest in Chinese trade or investment policy are a plus. UROPs will work approximately 10 hours total over the course of the semester. Interested applicants should send a short statement of interest indicating the preferred start date, along with a resume/CV, to John David Minnich jminnich@mit.edu.