Ruixue Jia

Bio Outline


  • Fellow
  • Institutions, Organizations & Growth


  • University of California San Diego
School of Global Policy & Strategy


  • United States


PhD (Economics), Stockholm University
MA (Economics), Peking University
BA (Economics), China Youth College for Political Sciences


Ruixue Jia is interested is the interplay of economics, history and politics.

One stream of her research focuses on understanding elite formation and elite influence, in both historical and modern contexts. She has published research on how open access to elite status matters for political stability. She has also studied how competence and loyalty jointly determine who becomes a top politician in China. A second stream of her research is on the evolution and impact of social norms – on ethnic choice in China, for example, and on suicide among the elderly in South Korea. A third focus of Jia’s work is the deep historical roots of economic development. She has published research on the long-term impact of the ‘treaty ports’ system and the determinants of peasant rebellion.


Hellman Fellowship, 2015

Relevant Publications

Jia, R., and H. Nie. "Decentralization, Collusion, and Coal Mine Deaths." Review of Economics and Statistics 99, no. 1 (March 2017): 105–18.

Jia, R., and Y. Bai. "Elite Recruitment and Political Stability: The Impact of the Abolition of China's Civil Service Exam." Econometrica 84, no. 2 (2016): 677–733.

Jia, R., M. Kudamatsu, and D. Seim. "Political Selection in China: Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance.” Journal of the European Economic Association 13, no. 4 (2015): 631–68.

Jia, R. "Weather Shocks, Sweet Potatoes and Peasant Revolts in Historical China." Economic Journal 124, no. 575 (2014): 92–118.

Jia, R. "The Legacies of Forced Freedom: China's Treaty Ports." Review of Economics and Statistics 96, no. 4 (2014): 596–608.