Melanie Meng Xue


I am a tenure-track assistant professor (September 2020- ) in the Social Science Division at New York University (AD). Before joining NYU, I spent time at UCLA and Northwestern. I will be joining the London School of Economics in September 2021. 

My work examines the rise of women, the self-perpetuation of authoritarian regimes, and the evolution of antisocial behavior in early modern and modern China. By tracing the impact of historical events over time and in various institutional settings, my work centers on the role of values, beliefs and norms in shaping economic and political disparities. 

In a recent project, I discovered oral traditions are a powerful measure of the historical component of values, beliefs and norms, connecting history and culture. This line of inquiry has produced a dataset of historical values (trust, risk-taking & gender norms) across countries/ethnic groups through analyzing a catalogue of motifs in folklore. Full datasets are available here

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