Jeffrey Kuo
Lecturer & Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Economics
📱   (202) 681-8789
📧   jeffkuo [at]
🎯   Research Fields


I am a lecturer and a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at George Washington University. I am interested in trade agreements and economic integration, either from the perspective of firms or governments. Before joining GW, I earned a master's degree in Economics from Syracuse University, located in scenic upstate New York. Prior to that, I graduated with honors from National Chengchi University with a BS/MS degree in International Business.

I am capable of a wide range of skills for economic research, including a solid analytical background in economic modeling, computational economics, and modern econometrics. In particular, I am interested in analyzing the impacts of preferential trade agreements as well as the behavior of multinational corporations under globalization.

Taiwan, a heavily trade-dependent nation, was selected as the subject of my dissertation due to its unique position as both an economic powerhouse and a political hotspot. I have written three working papers as part of my dissertation, which focus on Free Trade Agreements concerning Taiwan. The first chapter/paper uses the Computational General Equilibrium (CGE) model to simulate potential policy shocks and estimate trade bloc opportunity costs to ease regional tensions. The second working paper uses graphical analysis to explain the evolution of global trade in computer product manufacturers. It also explains how Taiwan has become one of the world's premier chip manufacturing centers. In the final working paper, we evaluate the heterogeneity of political inertia in Taiwan and how it changes following the ratification of the bilateral trade agreement with PR China. I tested whether exposure to "Lu-ke" (aka tourists from PR China) is associated with ideological realignment. Additionally, I have published a study on multinational firms' carbon dioxide abatement policies. Using the propensity score matching method, this study examines the impacts of internal carbon pricing systems on the performance of multinational enterprises.

I believe that politics and economics are inseparable. Having chances to do research, pass on the knowledge of international economics, and work as an expert to consult with government agencies, are my primary motivations for pursuing a career as an economist. Since I witnessed the economic miracle growing up in Taiwan, where the export-oriented policies exacerbated economic growth and soon triggered democratization, I know the importance of balancing development and distribution in the export-oriented economy. For instance, my project at Academia Sinica revisits the decennial wage rigidity in Taiwan's labor market after Millenium. We found a public misunderstanding of the timing of the economic downturn. Furthermore, after autotomizing compensation trends across the different age groups, we argued that higher education reform in Taiwan shouldn't be responsible for the sluggish growth. Instead, the slowly-adjusted trade and FDI policies under the multilateralism regime were the keys.

On the other hand, the recent increasing frequency and magnitude of the political movements among Asian emerging markets demonstrate another example of the synergy between trade and politics. Economists once advocated regional integration because it benefits developing countries, but multilateralism also embarks on social inequality and backlashes political stability. The core of my research interests is to identify the mechanism by constructing the empirical models to test the country's trade policies and delineate the open economy's political-economic equilibria using theoretical models.

Besides being a Ph.D. student, I am a Lecturer, Economist, Research Assistant, and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the GW Economics Department. During the regular semesters, I am also responsible for coordinating the discussion sessions of M.S. Program in Applied Economics. I like to help students construct empirical models and solve the various economic problems in the real world and treat teaching courses as another fashion for me to learn. Besides using various statistical packages like Stata, R, and SAS, I have taken courses such as Real Analysis, Advanced Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics. After being named the principal teaching assistant of the Master's Program in Applied Economics, I help students solve problems and hold weekly office hours for those enrolling in the master-level Probability and Statistics, Applied Microeconometrics, and Time Series Analysis. Furthermore, I taught a graduate-level Survey of International Economics (syllabus) via Blackboard Ultra virtual environment in Summer 2020.

I participate in most academic seminars and workshops in GW Economics. I am a member of H. O. Stekler Research Program on Forecasting and Student Association for Graduate Economists (SAGE). Outside GW, I hold student memberships of American Economics Associations (AEA), International Trade and Finance Association (IT&FA), National Association of Business Economics (NABE), The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and Southern Economics Association (SEA).

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