Greg Distelhorst

Faculty

Greg Distelhorst

About

Greg Distelhorst is the Mitsubishi Career Development Professor and an Assistant Professor in Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.  

His research explores the social impact of multinational business, focusing on how multinationals engage with labor-intensive manufacturers in the developing world. He examines initiatives to regulate labor standards in the supply chains of firms like Nike and HP. This research sits at the intersection of multinational management, industrial relations, and political economy.  

Distelhorst also studies Chinese politics and public policy, focusing on China's institutions of government responsiveness and accountability. He examines how citizens exploit these institutions and what prompts unelected officials to respond to citizen demands.  

His research has been published in Management Science, Regulation & Governance, Comparative Political Studies, and the Quarterly Journal of Political Science

Distelhorst has worked and conducted research in China for over five years, including fellowships through the U.S. Fulbright Program and the Yale-China Association. He is also an investigator with The Governance Project, led by Francis Fukuyama at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. 

He joined MIT Sloan from the University of Oxford, where he was Associate Professor of International Business at Saïd Business School and an Associate Member of the Department of Politics and International Relations. He previously held fellowships at Stanford University Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law and the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. 

Distelhorst holds a BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University and a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Honors

Distelhorst wins Dorothy Day Award

Distelhorst wins “People’s Choice” award

Publications

"Does Compliance Pay? Social Standards and Firm-level Trade."

Distelhorst, Greg, and Richard Locke. American Journal of Political Science Vol. 62, No. 3 (2018): 695-711. Blog summary.

"Grassroots Participation and Repression under Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping."

Fu, Diana, and Greg Distelhorst. The China Journal Vol. 79, No. 1 (2018): 100-122.

"Constituency Service Under Nondemocratic Rule: Evidence from China."

Distelhorst, Gregory, and Yue Hou. The Journal of Politics Vol. 79, No. 3 (2017): 1024-1040.

"Reassessing the Quality of Government in China."

Boittin, Margaret, Gregory Distelhorst, and Francis Fukuyama, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5181-16. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, May 2017.

"Does Lean Improve Labor Standards? Management and Social Performance in the Nike Supply Chain."

Distelhorst, Greg, Jens Hainmueller, and Richard Locke. Management Science Vol. 63, No. 3 (2017): 707-728.

"The Power of Empty Promises: Quasidemocratic Institutions and Activism in China."

Distelhorst, Greg. Comparative Political Studies Vol. 50, No. 4 (2017): 464-498.

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Recent Insights

Ideas Made to Matter

Factories get more business when they treat workers right

Activist movements likely drive retailers to choose factories with better labor standards.

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Ideas Made to Matter

Not just the bottom line: Lean manufacturing may help workers too

New research links management practices to compliance with labor standards in Nike supply chain.

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