Andrew Schrank received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 2000 and is currently the Olive C. Watson Professor of Sociology and International & Public Affairs at Brown University. He has received grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and many private foundations; consulted for the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and a number of federal agencies; served on a half dozen editorial boards; and collaborated with Somos un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant rights organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Center for a New Economy in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His research has been published by leading journals in political science, sociology, international development, and Latin American studies. And he is the co-author (with Michael Piore) of Root-Cause Regulation: Protecting Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press 2018).
Andrew Schrank studies the organization, regulation, and performance of industry. In addition to ongoing work on the development of regulatory inspection in Latin America, he is involved in two principal empirical projects: a study of the relationship between health policy and industrial policy in the Dominican Republic; and an analysis of decentralized manufacturing networks in the United States.
Health Policy and Industrial Policy in Latin America. Late developing countries allegedly face a brutal tradeoff between short-run social welfare, or consumption, and long-run economic development, or investment. But the essential medicines program in the Dominican Republic (Programa de Medicamentos Esenciales) appears to be reconciling growth and social protection by fostering the production of high quality, low cost generic medicines and their simultaneous distribution to the country’s poor. What are the social and political underpinnings of the program? Are they found in neighboring countries? And what, if anything, do they tell us about the prospects for late development more generally? I am addressing these and related questions by analyzing interview and survey data from the Dominican Republic and comparative data on a larger sample of late developers.
“Cross-Class Coalitions and Collective Goods: The Farmacias del Pueblo in the Dominican Republic.” Comparative Politics. Forthcoming.
Decentralized Manufacturing Networks in the United States. Small and midsized enterprises (SMEs) are the building blocks of the decentralized production networks that have come to dominate modern-day manufacturing. But they tend to lack the knowledge, capital, and connections they would need to understand and take advantage of best practices. The consequences are particularly salient in the United States, where SMEs that adopt new techniques and technologies are approximately 50 percent more productive than their more typical counterparts. What differentiates the more productive SMEs from their less productive counterparts? And what, if anything, might be done to address the imbalance? Josh Whitford and I are addressing the question by examining interview, survey, and administrative data from the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, a federal program designed to disseminate new techniques and technologies to SMEs in the US.
Representative publication: "Brokerage and Boots on the Grounds: Complements or Substitutes in the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships?” Co-authored with Philipp Brandt, University of Mannheim, and Josh Whitford, Columbia University. Economic Development Quarterly. Forthcoming.
“Cross-Class Coalitions and Collective Goods: The Farmacias del Pueblo in the Dominican Republic.” Comparative Politics. 51 (2) 2019.
“Brokerage and Boots on the Ground: Complements or Substitutes in the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships.” Economic Development Quarterly. 32 (4) 2018. Co-authored with Philipp Brandt, University of Mannheim, and Josh Whitford, Columbia University.
Root-Cause Regulation: Protecting Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century (Harvard University Press 2018). Co-authored with Michael Piore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The Political Economy of Performance Standards: Automotive Industrial Policy in Comparative Historical Perspective.” Journal of Development Studies 53 (12) 2017.
“Toward a New Economic Sociology of Development.” Sociology of Development 1 (2) 2015.
“From disguised protectionism to rewarding regulation: The impact of trade-related labor standards in the Dominican Republic.” Regulation & Governance. 7 (3) 2013.
“Anatomy of Network Failure.” Sociological Theory 29 (3) 2011. Co-authored with Josh Whitford, Columbia University.
“Incubating Innovation or Cultivating Corruption? The Developmental State and the Life Sciences in Asia.” Social Forces 88 (3) 2010. Co-authored with Cheol-Sung Lee, University of Chicago
“Homeward Bound: Interest, Identity, and Investor Behavior in a Third World Export Platform.” American Journal of Sociology 114 (1) 2008.
Comparative Development (SOC 1600)
Comparative Historical Sociology (SOC 2600)
DEVL 1000 Sophomore Seminar in Development Studies
Talks & Media
“Working at Scale: Lessons on Cost Savings and Return on Investment from the Essential Medicines Program in the Dominican Republic.” Social Accountability for Improving Health and Nutrition of Women, Children and Adolescents, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, World Health Organization, New Delhi, India, December 11, 2018.
“Capabilities and Competitiveness: Essential Medicines in the Dominican Republic.” David R. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, February 6, 2018.
“Government Brokerage of Innovation Networks,” Innovation Policy Forum of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, January 9, 2018.
“Root-Cause Regulation: Protecting Work and Workers in the Twenty-First Century.” Chicago-Kent Law School. October 27, 2017.
“Grassroots Reform in the Global South,” United States Agency for International Development, Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, Washington, District of Columbia, July 12, 2017; also at Results for Development, Washington, District of Columbia, November 3, 2017 (Getting to Scale: Social Accountability for Health Governance).
“Beyond the Silicon Valley Consensus,” Escuela de Gobierno y Transformación Pública, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Ciudad de México, México, June 23, 2017.
“The Middle Income Trap and the Silicon Valley Consensus,” American University-Inter-American Development Bank Seminar Series, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, June 2, 2017.
“Inspección del Trabajo y Desarrollo Sostenible,” Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, Tunja, Boyacá, Colombia, May 10, 2017.
April 3, 2019
Sociologist Andrew Schrank joined Phoenix's KJZZ to discuss disaster relief funding for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
June 30, 2017
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?"
March 10, 2017
Christian Science Monitor
Andrew Schrank, professor of public affairs and sociology, comments on the impact of strikes in labor relations after farmworkers in Florida successfully improved their working conditions.
July 5, 2016
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.
September 9, 2015
The New York Times
Prof. Andrew Schrank comments on a group of workers at a car wash in New Mexico who are attempting to improve working conditions at their company.
August 11, 2015
Prof. Andrew Schrank contributes the latest entry in a special project in which business and labor leaders, social scientists, technology visionaries, activists, and journalists weigh in on the most consequential changes in the workplace.