Yu Xiao

Yu Xiao is a PhD candidate trained in comparative politics and political methodology. Her research interests include comparative political economy in authoritarian regimes, with a regional focus on China and Latin America, and China-Latin America relations. In her dissertation, she studies why some authoritarian regimes implement economic decentralization policies while others pursue economic centralization policies. She analyzes this question using a game-theoretical model and compares two party-based authoritarian systems, China under CPC and Mexico under PRI. In addition, she has coauthored three book chapters on China-Latin America relations. She has also taught classes on comparative politics and research methods.

Education & Training

  • M.A., Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2013
  • M.A., Political Science, New York University, 2010
  • B.Phil., Philosophy, Peking University, China, 2008

Representative Publications

  1. Pérez-López, Jorge, and Yu Xiao. 2019. "Foreign Investment and Economic Growth in Cuba: Lessons from China." In Paths for Cuba: Reforming Communism in Comparative Perspective, edited by Scott Morgenstern, Jorge Pérez-López, and Jerome Branche. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.


  1. Armony, Ariel C., and Yu Xiao. 2016. "Toward an Understanding of a Global China." In China and Latin America in Transition: Policy Dynamics, Economic Commitments and Social Impacts, edited by Cui Shoujun and Manuel Pérez García, 35-50. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 
  1. Spanakos, Anthony Peter, and Yu Xiao. 2012. "Se necesitan tres: relaciones entre China, Estados Unidos y América Latina." In China en América Latina: reflexiones sobre las relaciones transpacíficas, edited by Benjamin Creutzfeldt, 151-191. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Externado de Colombia.
  2. Spanakos, Anthony Peter, and Yu Xiao. 2010. "Has the Rise of China Made Latin America More Unsafe?" In China and International Relations: The Chinese View and the Contribution of Wang Gungwu, edited by Zheng Yongnian, 221-244. New York, NY: Routledge.

Research Interest Summary

Comparative political economy in authoritarian regimes, Chinese politics, Latin American politics, and China-Latin America Relations


Area of Study