My research examines career mobility in bureaucracies using two original datasets from China and India. Bureaucracy, as one of the most prevalent forms of organizations, controls critical resources in economic and political domains. Who become bureaucratic leaders therefore have implications for economic development and policy orientations. Using advanced computational and statistical techniques in a comparative analysis, my dissertation addresses three questions: 1) What are the impacts of networks on career mobility, and how do connections evolve over time in facilitating or impeding mobility? 2) How do career paths reflect organizational status, and what positions provide accesses to opportunities? 3) How do mobility mechanisms relate to the institutional contexts of different regimes, and what are the variations among bureaucratic mobility across cultures?
In addition to my dissertation research, I'm developing a new algorithm with a computer scientist for network analysis. I'm also examining the dynamics of political change and its impact on personnel selection.
While I currently study networks and careers, I am broadly interested in the impact of political change on markets, organizations, and society. My prior projects on post-Communist recession and the diffusion of the Cultural Revolution have appeared in American Sociological Review and American Journal of Sociology.
Walder, Andrew G. and Qinglian Lu. 2017. The Dynamics of Collapse in an Authoritarian Regime: China in 1967. American Journal of Sociology 122(4): 1144-82.
Walder, Andrew G, Andrew Isaacson, and Qinglian Lu. 2015. After State Socialism: The Political Origins of Transitional Recessions. American Sociological Review 80(2): 444-468.