Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Andrew Schrank

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Andrew Schrank

Olive C. Watson Professor of Sociology and International and Public Affairs


Andrew Schrank received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin and is currently the Olive C. Watson Professor of Sociology and International & Public Affairs at Brown University, having previously held positions in political science and sociology at the University of New Mexico, Yale University, and the University of Miami. He has received grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Social Science Research Council; served as a consulting editor or board member at the American Journal of Sociology, Politics and Society, Latin American Politics and Society, Sociology of Development, and Studies in Comparative International Development; collaborated with Somos un Pueblo Unido in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and consulted for the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, United States Department of Labor, and various United Nations agencies.  He is also a founding member of REPAL, the Red de Economía Política de América Latina (http://redeconomiapoliticaamlat.com/).


Schrank studies the organization, regulation, and performance of industry--especially in Latin America. He is particularly interested in the design and construction of “high road” institutions that reconcile the allegedly competing goals of regulatory compliance and economic competitiveness at the firm and regional levels, and toward that end has paid a good deal of attention to the downside of the division of labor: special-purpose human and physical resources that are costly to produce and hard to reallocate when rendered anachronistic by political and economic change; managerial hierarchies that impede communication and collaboration among team members; confidence and competency gaps that pose a threat to decentralized production networks; and jurisdictional boundaries that make sense to their architects but are inevitably rendered anachronistic by time. Schrank is currently completing two book manuscripts that speak to these themes: one on workplace inspection regimes in Europe and the Americas (with Professor Michael Piore of MIT); and another on the roots and rectification of “network failures” among decentralized manufacturing enterprises (with Josh Whitford of Columbia University). He has also worked on the conceptualization, measurement, and evaluation of public sector performance more generally in collaboration with Marcus Kurtz of Ohio State. 


“The Political Economy of Performance Standards: Automotive Industrial Policy in Comparative Perspective.”  Journal of Development Studies. Forthcoming.

“Toward a New Economic Sociology of Development.” Sociology of Development 1 (2) 2015.

“Latin American Political Economy: Making Sense of a New Reality.” Latin American Politics & Society.  56 (1) 2014.  Co-authored with Juan Pablo Luna, Catholic University of Chile and M. Victoria Murillo, Columbia University.

“From disguised protectionism to rewarding regulation: The impact of trade-related labor standards in the Dominican Republic.”  Regulation & Governance.  7 (3) 2013. Winner of the Regulation & Governance Prize for best article in Vol. 7 of the journal.

“Quantitative Cross-National Sociology and the Methodological Abyss: Comment on Alcacer and Ingram.” American Journal of Sociology 118 (4) 2013.

News|Recent News

A Defense of Slowbalization (written by Andrew Schrank)

June 30, 2017 Boston Review

Andrew Schrank in the Boston Review, "What if Americans did not have to choose between mercantilism and ‘more of the same,’ but could instead split the difference with slowbalization—or gradual market opening?"


Puerto Rico's Moment of Truth (co-authored by Andrew Schrank and Michael Piore)

July 5, 2016 Foreign Affairs

Andrew Schrank and Michael Piore co-author an article about Puerto Rico’s debt problem and the approval of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act. They argue that unless Puerto Rico adopts a new development structure, the country is likely to experience the same crisis down the road.


Taking Stock: Schrank on Puerto Rico

July 15, 2015 Bloomberg Radio

Watson Professor Andrew Schrank talks with Bloomberg radio's Michael McKee about the Puerto Rican Debt crisis, discussing his recent contribution with Postdoctoral Fellow Deepak Lamba-Nieves published online by Foreign Affairs.


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