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Areas of Expertise (7)

Personnel Economics of the State

Development Economics

Organizational Economics

Labor Economics

Political Economy

Economic History

International Development


Guo Xu is an assistant professor at Berkeley Haas. His research focuses on the selection, recruitment, and allocation of talent in private and public sector organizations. He earned a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.

Education (4)

London School of Economics: PhD, Economics 2017

London School of Economics: MSc, Economics 2012

London School of Economics: MSc, Development Studies 2010

Humboldt-Universität Berlin: BSc, Economics 2009

Honors & Awards (4)

LSE Class Teacher Award


Royal Economic Society Junior Fellowship


LSE Class Teacher Award


Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation Fellowship


Selected External Service & Affiliations (2)

  • Referee for: Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic History, Economica
  • Consultant for: Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Bank of England

Positions Held (1)

At Haas since 2017

2017 – present, Assistant Professor, Haas School of Business

Media Appearances (3)

Why the 'Deep State' Doesn't Exist in the Civil Service

Government Executive  online


Assist. Prof Guo Xu looked at the connection between politics and public employees and the ways ideology does or doesn’t affect civil servants' job performance. For political appointees, “we do see very large partisan cycles” as administrations changes, Xu said. But it’s not true for career civil servants. “This is a much more stable pattern,” he said.

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The British Raj’s Spanish flu response has a lesson for India’s Covid-19 battle

Quartz India  online


During the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, Indian districts under the control of Indian officers saw up to 15% fewer deaths than those under the control of British officers, according to new research by Asst. Prof. Guo Xu. One reason may have been that the Indian officers increased their spending by twice as much as the British officers during the second wave of the epidemic, Xu found. The research shows how how bureaucratic representation can make a state more responsive during crises.

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Nearly 200 New Profs At Top B-Schools

Poets & Quants  online


"This fall Harmeling brings her passion to another part of the world, the West Coast of the United States, joining the USC Marshall School of Business faculty as a visiting professor. She’s one of almost 200 new professors at top U.S. B-schools this year, and one of dozens who bring decades’ worth of experience to new campuses for the benefit of MBA students coast to coast."

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Selected Papers & Publications (7)

The Costs of Patronage: Evidence from the British Empire

Job Market Paper, London School of Economics

Guo Xu


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Rewarding Schooling Success and Perceived Returns to Education: Evidence from India

Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization

Sandra Sequeira, Johannes Spinnewijn, Guo Xu


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The Glittering Prizes: Career Incentives and Bureaucrat Performance

Working Paper

Guo Xu, Marianne Bertrand, Robin Burgess, and Arunish Chawla


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The Colonial Origins of Fiscal Capacity: Evidence from Patronage Governors

Working Paper

Guo Xu


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How Does Collective Reputation Affect Hiring? Selection and Sorting in an Online Labour Market

Working paper

Guo Xu


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Who Gives Aid to Whom and When? Aid Accelerations, Shocks and Policies

European Journal of Political Economy

Tilman Brück, Guo Xu


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Growth Accelerations Revisited

Econ Journal Watch

Guo Xu


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