Faculty Profile

Associate Professor

Research Topics

Uncovering the political determinants of economic development through the lens of economics

Research Introduction and Message

   Even if we know what policies improve the standard of living, our life won't get better if politicians are unwilling to adopt such welfare-enhancing policies. Economists assume that politicians maximise their own utility, just like consumers and producers, implying that they won't adopt policies if their re-election probability does not increase or if they cannot enrich themselves via corruption. Through this theoretical framework, I have investigated the socio-economic impacts of political institutions and human resource management in a political party.

   Another important component of research methodology in economics is a clear distinction between causality and correlation. It is not easy to provide empirical evidence for causal relationships. However, the use of a wide range of datasets allows us to eliminate as many alternative explanations for the observed correlation pattern as possible. For example, the geographic information system (GIS) expands the range of available datasets for economists. I have examined the causal effects of extreme weather on infant mortality in Africa by matching meteorology datasets with household surveys through the use of GIS.

   I encourage students to solve problems that have no established answer, an activity relevant once they land a job but rarely taught in the Japanese education system. As a method for finding a solution, I hope economics makes them realise how useful it is to see reality through a theoretical framework and how important it is to be cautious about interpreting correlation as causality.

KUDAMATSU Masayuki's Personal Website


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