Top Navigation:

Primary Navigation:

Photo of Lee  Branstetter

Lee Branstetter

Professor of Economics and Public Policy (joint appointment with the Social and Decision Sciences department)

Office: HBH 3018
Voice: 412.268.4649
View curriculum vitae (.pdf)


Lee Branstetter joined the Heinz School faculty in 2006 as a tenured associate professor. He has a joint appointment with the Department of Social and Decision Sciences (SDS). Branstetter is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. From 2011-2012, he served as the Senior Economist for International Trade and Investment for the President's Council of Economic Advisors. Prior to coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Daniel J. Stanton Associate Professor of Business and the Director of the International Business Program at Columbia Business School. Branstetter has also taught at the University of California, Davis, where he was the Director of the East Asian Studies Program, and at Dartmouth College. He has served as a consultant to the OECD Science and Technology Directorate, the Advanced Technology Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the World Bank. In recent years, Branstetter has been a research fellow of the Keio University Global Security Research Institute and a visiting fellow of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry in Japan. Branstetter holds a B.A. in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) from Northwestern University, and he earned his Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard in 1996.


At Columbia Business School, Branstetter was awarded the Chazen Innovation Prize for innovative teaching in International Business. He was later appointed to the Daniel Stanton Associate Professorship in recognition of outstanding service, teaching, and scholarship. Branstetter was awarded an Abe Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council in 2001. At UC-Davis, Branstetter received the Thomas Mayer Distinguished Teaching Award from the Department of Economics. As a graduate student at Harvard, Branstetter received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Sumner Slichter Fund, and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies.


Branstetter's research interests include the economics of technological innovation, international economics, industrial organization, and economic growth in East Asia, with a particular focus on China and Japan. His papers span a wide range of topics, including the effects of patent laws on international technology transfer, the role of multinationals in the diffusion of technology across national boundaries, the impact of research consortia on the research productivity of participating firms, and the evolution of trade and investment policies in the People's Republic of China. His work has appeared in leading journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the RAND Journal of Economics, and the Journal of International Economics.

Recent Publications

"Do Entry Regulations Deter Entrepreneurship and Job Creation? Evidence from Recent Reforms in Portugal." Branstetter, L., Lima, F., Taylor, L., and Venancio, A., Economic Journal, vol. 124, June 2014, pp. 805-832.

"Facing the Climate Change Challenge in a Global Economy." Branstetter, L., and Pizer, W., in R. Feenstra and A. Taylor (eds.), Globalization in an Age of Crisis, 2014, NBER and University of Chicago Press.

"Going Soft: How the Rise of Software-Based Innovation Led to the Decline of Japan's IT Industry and the Resurgence of Silicon Valley," with Ashish Arora (Duke) and Matej Drev (CMU). Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. 95, no. 3, July 2013, pp. 757-775.

"Intellectual Property Rights, Foreign Direct Investment, and Industrial Development," with Kamal Saggi (Vanderbilt). Economic Journal, vol. 121, no. 555, September 2011, pp. 1161-1191.

"Does Intellectual Property Rights Reform Spur Industrial Development?" with Raymond Fisman (Columbia), Fritz Foley (HBS), and Kamal Saggi (Vanderbilt). Journal of International Economics, vol. 83, Spring 2011, pp 27-36.

"China's Embrace of Globalization," with Nicholas Lardy (Institute for International Economics), in Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski, (eds.), China's Economic Transition: Origins, Mechanisms, and Consequences, 2008, Cambridge University Press.

"Do Stronger Intellectual Property Rights Increase International Technology Transfer? Empirical Evidence from U.S. Firm-Level Data," with Raymond Fisman (Columbia) and Fritz Foley (HBS). Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 121, no. 1, pp. 321-349.

"When Do Research Consortia Work Well and Why? Evidence from Japanese Panel Data," with Mariko Sakakibara (UCLA), American Economic Review, vol. 92, no. 1, March 2002, pp. 143-159.

"Do Stronger Patents Induce More Innovation? Evidence from the 1988 Japanese Patent Law Reforms,"
with Mariko Sakakibara (UCLA), RAND Journal of Economics, vol. 32, no. 1, Spring 2001, pp. 77-100. Reprinted in R. Towse and R. Holzhauer, (eds.), The Economics of Intellectual Property, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2001. Reprinted in K. Maskus, (ed.), The WTO, Intellectual Property, and the Knowledge Economy, a forthcoming volume in the series Critical Perspectives on the Global Trading System and the WTO, Edward Elgar Press.

"Is Foreign Direct Investment a Channel of Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from Japan's FDI in the United States," Journal of International Economics, vol. 68, February 2006, pp. 325-344.

"Trade and Foreign Direct Investment in China: A Political Economy Approach," with Robert Feenstra (UC-Davis), Journal of International Economics, vol. 58, no. 2, December 2002, pp. 335-358.

"Are Knowledge Spillovers International or Intranational in Scope? Microeconometric Evidence from Japan and the United States,"Journal of International Economics, vol. 53, February 2001, pp. 53-79.

"Japanese Research Consortia: A Microeconometric Analysis of Industrial Policy," with Mariko Sakakibara (UCLA), Journal of Industrial Economics, vol. 46, no. 2, June 1998, pp. 207-233.

"Measuring the Impact of U.S. Research Consortia," with Mariko Sakakibara (UCLA), Managerial and Decision Economics, vol. 24, Spring 2003, pp. 51-69.

"Looking for International Knowledge Spillovers: A Review of the Literature with Suggestions for New Approaches," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique No. 49/50, 1998, pp. 517-540. Reprinted in D. Encaoua et. al., (eds.), The Economics and Econometrics of Innovation, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.

"Do Stronger Patents Induce More Local Innovation?" Journal of International Economic Law, vol. 7, no. 2, 2004, pp. 359-370. Reprinted in Keith Maskus and Jerome Reichman, eds., International Public Goods and Transfer of Technology Under a Globalized Intellectual Property Regime, Cambridge University Press, 2005.



Ph.D., Economics, Harvard University

Representative Publications

Working Papers