Working Papers:

On Development, Environment, Energy, and Climate Change:

  • Zhenqian Huang and Xun Cao: “The Lure of Technocracy? Chinese Aid and Local Preferences for Development Leadership in Africa.” pdf; slides; data.
  • Minqing Wu and Xun Cao: “Greening the Career Incentive Structure for Local Officials in China: Does Less Local Pollution Increase the Chances of Promotion for Chinese County Leaders?” pdf; slides; data.
  • Xun Cao, Qing Deng, Xiaojun Li, and Zijie Shao: “Fine Me If You Can: Fixed Asset Intensity and Environmental Regulation Actions in China.” pdf; slides; data.
  • Anthony Pezzola, Amanda Fidalgo, and Xun Cao: “Clean Competition: How Competitive Elections Clean-up the Air in Mexican Municipalities.” pdf; slides; data.
  • Xun Cao and Hugh Ward: “Center-periphery Gradients in Enforcement of Environmental Regulation.” pdf; slides; data.

On Conflicts and Ethnic Violence:

  • Chuyu Liu and Xun Cao: “Privatization, Ethnic Diversity, and the Chances of Ethnic Conflict: Evidence from Xinjiang and Beyond.” pdf; slides; data.
  • Ismene Gizelis and Xun Cao: “Peacekeeping and Maternal Health in Post-conflict Environments.” Revised and resubmitted. pdf; data.
  • Xun Cao, Ismene Gizelis, Anja Shortland, and Henrik Urdal: “Localized Droughts, Conflicts, and the Mediating Effects of Local Public Goods.” To revise and resubmit. pdf; online appendices; data.


  1. Xun Cao, Genia Kostka, and Xu Xu. “Environmental Political Business Cycles: The Case of PM2.5 Air Pollution in Chinese Prefectures.” Forthcoming, Environmental Science & Policy. pdf; slides; online appendix; data.
  2. Santiago Lopez-Cariboni and Xun Cao: “When do Authoritarian Rulers Educate: Trade Competition and Human Capital in Non-Democracies.” Forthcoming, Review of International Organization. pdf; online appendix.
  3. Xun Cao, Haiyan Duan, Chuyu Liu, and Yingjie Wei: “Religious Institutions and the Impact of Inter-Ethnic Inequality on Conflict: the Case of Xinjiang, China.” Forthcoming, International Studies Quarterly. pdf; online appendix; slides; data.
  4. Xun Cao, Haiyan Duan, Chuyu Liu, James Piazza, and Yingjie Wei: “Digging the ‘Ethnic Violence in China’ Database: The Effects of Inter-Ethnic Inequality and Natural Resources Exploitation in Xinjiang.” China Review. May 2018. pdf; online appendix. Data: please email us (xuc11 at for the data; here is a PDF that describes the panel and event versions of the EVC data.
  5. Xun Cao and Hugh Ward: “Transnational Climate Governance Networks and Domestic Regulatory Action.” International Interactions. January 2017. pdf; data.
  6. Xun Cao, Andrew Kleit, and Chuyu Liu: “Why Invest in Wind Energy? Career Incentives and Chinese Renewable Energy Politics.” Energy Policy, December 2016. pdf; data.
  7. Santiago Lopez-Cariboni and Xun Cao: “Import Competition and Policy Interdependence.” Politics & Society, December 2015. link; pdf; online appendix; data.
  8. Xun Cao and Hugh Ward: “Winning Coalition Size, State Capacity, and Time Horizons: An Application of Modified Selectorate Theory to Environmental Public Goods Provision.” International Studies Quarterly, June 2015. pdf; online appendices; tables/figures; replication data/r code.
  9. Hugh Ward, Xun Cao, and Bumba Mukherjee: “State Capacity and the Environmental Investment Gap in Authoritarian States.” Comparative Political Studies, March 2014. pdf.
  10. Xun Cao and Michael D. Ward: “Do Democracies Attract Investment?” International Interactions, March 2014. pdf.
  11. Xun Cao, Brian Greenhill, and Aseem Prakash: “Where is the Tipping Point? Bilateral Trade and the Diffusion of Human Rights.” British Journal of Political Science, January 2013. pdf. Data and R code.
  12. Christian Breunig, Xun Cao, and Adam Luedtke: “Global Migration and Political Regime Type: A Democratic Disadvantage.” British Journal of Political Science, October 2012. pdf. Data, R code to run MCMC.
  13. Hugh Ward and Xun Cao: “Domestic and International Influences on Green Taxation.” Comparative Political Studies, September 2012. pdf.
  14. Xun Cao: “Global Networks and Domestic Policy Convergence: A Network Explanation of Policy Changes.” World Politics, July 2012. pdf.
  15. Xun Cao and Aseem Prakash: “Trade Competition and Environmental Regulations: Domestic Political Constraints and Issue Visibility.” Journal of Politics, January 2012. pdf. R code and Data for replication.
  16. Xun Cao and Aseem Prakash: “Growing Exports by Signaling Product Quality.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, January 2011. pdf.
  17. Xun Cao: “Networks as Channels of Policy Diffusion: Explaining Worldwide Changes in Capital Taxation, 1998-2006.” International Studies Quarterly, September 2010. pdf. R code and Data for replication.
  18. Xun Cao and Aseem Prakash: “Trade Competition and Domestic Pollution: A Panel Study, 1980-2003.” International Organization, July 2010. pdf.  Data and R code for replication.
  19. Xun Cao: “Networks of Intergovernmental Organizations and Convergence in Domestic Economic Policies.” International Studies Quarterly, December 2009. pdf. Data and R code (zipped) for replication.
  20. Xun Cao: “Domestic Economic Policies, Political Institutions, and Transnational Portfolio Investments.” Business and Politics, April 2009. pdf.
  21. Kristin Bakke, Xun Cao, John O’Loughlin, and Michael Ward: “Social Distance in Bosnia and the North Caucasus Region of Russia.” Nations and Nationalism, April 2009. pdf.
  22. Michael Ward, Randolph Siverson, and Xun Cao: “Disputes, Democracies, and Dependencies.” American Journal of Political Science, July 2007. pdf.
  23. Xun Cao, Aseem Prakash, and Michael Ward: “Protecting Jobs in the Age of Globalization.” International Studies Quarterly, June 2007. pdf. Data. R code.

Other (by editor invitation) Publications:

  1. Xun Cao and Neslihan Burcin Tamer: “Foreign Aid, Winning Coalition Size, and Environmental Quality in Aid-recipient Countries.” Forthcoming, International Trade, Politics and Development, pdf; data.
  2. Xun Cao, Helen V. Milner, Aseem Prakash, and Hugh Ward: “Research Frontiers in Comparative and International Environmental Politics: An Introduction.” Comparative Political Studies, March 2014. pdf.

Dormant Papers:

  • Xun Cao: “Interest Groups, Partisan Politics, and the Development of Renewable Energy in the OECD Countries.” pdf; data.