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Ruixue Jia

Ruixue Jia’s research interest is the interplay of economics, history and politics. One stream of Jia’s 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 determines who becomes a top politician in China.

A second stream of Jia’s research focuses on the evolution and the impact of social norms. She has studied the impact of social norms on ethnic choice in China and elderly suicide in South Korea.

A third theme of Jia’s research examines the deep historical roots of economic development. She has published research on the long-run impact of the treaty ports system and the determinants of peasant rebellion.


Hellman Fellowship, 2015.

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, 2013.

Relevant Publications

R. Jia, Y. Bai. "Elite Recruitment and Political Stability: The Impact of the Abolition of China's Civil Service Exam" Econometrica, 2016, vol. 84 (2), 677–733.

R. Jia, M. Kudamatsu, D. Seim."Political Selection in China: Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance” Journal of the European Economic Association, 2015, vol. 13 (4), 631-668.

R. Jia. "Weather Shocks, Sweet Potatoes and Peasant Revolts in Historical China" Economic Journal, 2014, vol. 124 (575), 92-118

R. Jia. "The Legacies of Forced Freedom: China's Treaty Ports" Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014, vol. 96 (4), 596-608.

R. Jia, H. Nie. "Decentralization, Collusion and Coalmine Deaths" Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming.



Associate Fellow Institutions, Organizations & Growth


University of California at San DiegoSchool of Global Policy & Strategy


PhD (Economics) Stockholm University

MA (Economics) Peking University

BA (Economics) China Youth College for Political Sciences


United States

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