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The Politics of Trade Policy in China




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 provide the most comprehensive and systematic study to-date of product-level trade policy in China using large-scale Chinese tariffs and customs data. The project's goals are two-fold. First, it will conduct qualitative analysis of firm-level lobbying for preferential tariff policies in China. Second, it will conduct quantitative analysis of trade policy in China using a unique Chinese customs data set with over 10 million transaction-level observations. For the qualitative portion of the research, the UROP will search and analyze English- and Chinese-language media and government documents for evidence of firm-level lobbying for preferential trade policies in China. For the quantitative portion of the research, the UROP will help merge and clean large-scale data sets (using the R programming language) and conduct descriptive and statistical analyses.


Experience researching and/or interest in Chinese politics and trade or economic policy. Familiarity with programming languages such as R and Python and ability to read Mandarin Chinese is a plus. UROPs will work approximately 10 hours per week for the Fall 2020. 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>.