Hover your mouse over the images to see the description.
Peer Reviewed Publications.
Sung Eun Kim, Adrian Shin, and Yujeong Yang. "The Usual Suspect? Attitudes toward Immigration during the COVID-19 Pandemic", Journal of Asian Public Policy, Online First.
COVID-19 has intensified public apprehension about foreigners. In this article, we examine two questions related to public opinion on immigration. First, we assess the importance of cultural and economic factors in studying why individuals support or oppose immigration. Second, we examine the role of public health concerns in shaping attitudes towards open borders by priming the vaccination status of immigrants and the number of COVID-19 cases in their home countries. Using a conjoint analysis based on the data provided by nearly 1,700 respondents in South Korea, we find empirical support for both the existing explanations and public health concerns.
Yujeong Yang. "Bring Your Own Workers: Chinese OFDI, Chinese overseas workers, and collective labor rights in Africa.", World Development, Online First.
Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) in Africa are often criticized for hiring Chinese expatriates at the expense of native workers. This raises the possibility that Chinese MNCs, unlike most non-Chinese MNCs, fail to contribute to local employment or the skill improvement of native workers. In reality, the extent to which Chinese firms increase the number of expatriate workers varies widely across host countries. When does Chinese FDI increase the number of Chinese expatriate workers in a host country? Do Chinese MNCs rely more heavily on expatriate workers than do MNCs from other countries? To answer these questions, I conduct a cross-national analysis of a panel dataset of Chinese workers in 49 African host countries from 2000 to 2018. This study finds that Chinese FDI only increases the number of Chinese workers in host countries with weaker collective labor rights. In host countries featuring stronger collective labor rights, Chinese FDI does not increase the number of Chinese expatriate workers. The firm-level analysis of the African Investor Survey of 2010 also shows that Chinese MNCs hire more non-native workers than do non-Chinese MNCs only when investing in countries with weaker collective labor rights. These findings highlight the role of host countries’ institutions in conditioning the impact of FDI.
Yujeong Yang. "Towards an Inclusive System for Informal Workers? Diverging Impacts of Labor Informality on Chinese Workers' Pension Enrollment.", International Journal of Social Welfare, Online First.
The Chinese pension reform of 2011 allowed informal workers to enroll either in the employment-based pension program or in the residency-based pension program. Despite this historic pension reform, the question of how labor informality influences one's pension participation under the reformed pension regime has been insufficiently discussed. This article fills this gap by analyzing two waves of a national-level survey—the China Labor Dynamic Survey of 2012 and 2014. This article makes the following two points. First, the impact of labor informality differs across the two pension programs. Second, local citizenship filters the negative impact of labor informality, but only for the residency-based pension program. Having “local” citizenship does not offset the negative impact of labor informality on workers’ enrollment in the employment-based pension program. These findings show how the recent reform is ironically reinforcing the existing social cleavages between different types of Chinese workers.
Yujeong Yang. "The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion: Chinese Dual-Pension Regimes in the Era of Labor Migration and Labor Informalization", Politics and Society 49, no.2 (2021): 147-180.
Why do some Chinese local governments include informal workers in their welfare systems while others exclude them? This article argues that local officials attempt to balance multiple, conflicting, top-down career-evaluation criteria by developing different inclusion mechanisms. The central mandate to build an inclusive welfare regime incentivizes local officials to embrace welfare “outsiders” (informal workers and nonlocal workers). However, other top-down policy goals and the locally defined citizenship (hukou) system disincentivize the full integration of outsiders. Faced with this political dilemma, local officials have strategically incorporated different types of outsiders into their welfare regimes. Their strategies depend on local labor market structures—specifically, the extent to which informal workers overlap with nonlocal workers. This hypothesis is tested using an original data set derived from thirty-one Chinese provinces, covering the period between 2005 and 2015, as well as two rounds of national-level survey data. Findings suggest that recent Chinese welfare expansion has ironically consolidated, even exacerbated, regional inequality.
Yujeong Yang and Wei Chen. "Different Demands, Varying Responses: Local Government Responses to Workers’ Collective Actions in South China ", The China Quarterly 243 (2020): 839-854.
While Chinese local governments remain extremely wary of workers’ collective actions, they do not always suppress them; sometimes, they tolerate such actions and even seek to placate workers. What accounts for these different government responses to workers’ collective actions? Based on a sample of over 1,491 collective action cases that took place in Guangdong between 2011 and 2016, we find that the types of demands raised by workers during collective actions affect how local governments respond. Local governments are likely to forcefully intervene in collective actions in which workers make defensive claims concerning issues of payment. In contrast, local governments are likely to use non-forceful approaches in response to actions in which workers make defensive claims regarding social security.
Yujeong Yang and Mary Gallagher. "Moving In and Moving Up? Labor Conditions and China's Changing Developing Model", Public Administration and Development 37, no.3 (2017): 160-175 .
For the last decade, a large contingent of manufacturing firms in developmental zones on China’s coast has moved to inland provinces. What are the implications of this move inland for Chinese workers? Research on labor conditions in the current period of economic globalization and mobile capital debates the existence of a “race to the bottom” in labor standards through the pressures of international capital mobility. These theories predict that as inland China develops and attracts a larger amount of foreign and domestic capital, inland governments will compete by offering cheap labor and lower or unenforced standards. Our argument in this paper is contrarian in that we propose the possibility of a positive relationship between the movement inland and labor conditions. We argue that the movement of manufacturing to inland China is not primarily about cheaper workers, but instead signals the beginning of a fundamental shift in the development model through the employment of a localized workforce. Having more workers from within the province, local governments in inland provinces will be more inclined to develop inclusive social policies and improve labor conditions. Local governments in coastal provinces that inherit fundamentally different demographic structures are less likely to pursue this governance style. We use audit data from Apple corporation suppliers (2007–2013), supplementary survey data, and in-depth interviews to discuss the relationship between localized production and better labor conditions.
Mary Gallagher and Yujeong Yang. "Getting Schooled: Legal Mobilization as an Educative Process" , Law and Social Inquiry 42, no.1 (2017): 163-194.
This article explores the role of formal education and specific legal knowledge in the process of legal mobilization. Using survey data and in-depth case narratives of workplace disputes in China, we highlight three major findings. First, and uncontroversially, higher levels of formal education are associated with greater propensity to use legal institutions and to find them more effective. Second, informally acquired labor law knowledge can substitute for formal education in bringing people to the legal system and improving their legal experiences. The Chinese state's propagation of legal knowledge has had positive effects on citizens' legal mobilization. Finally, while education and legal knowledge are factors that push people toward the legal system, actual dispute experience leads people away from it, especially among disputants without effective legal representation. The article concludes that the Chinese state's encouragement of individualized legal mobilization produces contradictory outcomes—encouraging citizens to use formal legal institutions, imbuing them with new knowledge and rights awareness, but also breeding disdain for the law in practice.
Qingjie Zeng and Yujeong Yang. "Informal Networks as Safety Nets: The Role of Personal Ties in China’s Anti-corruption Campaign", China: An International Journal 15, no.3 (2017): 26-57.
The new Chinese leadership that assumed power in late 2012 has launched an anticorruption campaign that is distinctive in its sheer magnitude. The dazzling number of high-level officials struck down by the CCP’s disciplinary body provides a unique opportunity to revisit a much speculated question in China studies: how do the dynamics of informal network affect the Party’s disciplinary punishment of senior cadres? This paper takes a first step to address this question with systematic evidence. We point out that the threat of rectification campaign hanging over the head of the bureaucratic system induces officials to attach themselves to powerful patrons, whose protection offers pivotal career security for lower-level clients. Based on a sample of over 500 provincial officials who were in office when the current campaign started, we show that officials tied to incumbent members of the Politburo Standing Committee are less likely to be investigated for corruption than those without such ties. At the same time, factional ties with retired members of the same body do not provide similar protection. Our analysis helps explain the pervasiveness of personal dependence and factional activities in China’s political system; it also sheds light on the complex interaction of informal rules and formal institutions in authoritarian regimes.
Chapter in an Edited Book.
"Understanding Informality in China: How Existing Welfare State Regime Affects the Measurement of Informality?" (with Wei-Ting Yen), In Political Economy of Informality in BRIC countries, edited by Edward Mansfield and Nita Rudra, World Scientific Publishing (forthcoming 2018).
Work in progress.