Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Robert McCleery

Associate Professor, International Policy and Development

I am passionate about the effort to reduce global poverty and inequality.  My research, consulting and teaching all point towards that goal.  It is the unifying theme of my work on trade, investment, infrastructure, migration and productivity, as well as the focus of my classes in development and trade.

What excites me about being a professor at MIIS is the endless variety of backgrounds and experiences that students bring to my classes. By seeing the world through their eyes, old material becomes new again and my own perspectives and horizons are broadened.

Professor McCleery was a visiting associate professor at Claremont McKenna College and an associate professor at Kobe University, Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration. In addition, he has served as a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford and as a research associate for the East-West Center Development Policy Program.  He is a Research Associate of the Center for East Asian Studies.

His work has appeared in the flagship journals of both economics (American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, and Journal of Economic Perspectives) and political science (American Political Science Review), as well as regional journals (Journal of Asian Economics and Journal of North American Economics and Finance). He has recently authored papers on NAFTA expansion, economic policy reforms in Latin America, Asian development, and financial liberalization in China and Asia-Pacific Economics Cooperation (APEC).

Professor McCleery's international experiences include consulting for government-funded research agencies like the Ministry of Trade in Indonesia, Government of Malaysia, Institute for Developing Economies (Tokyo), and Korea Development Institute; International organizations like Asian Development Bank, UNDP, and UNDESD; US government and non-governmental organizations like International Center for Economic Growth, State of Hawaii, Senator Graham (D-FL), Council on Foreign Relations, US International Trade Commission, and US Commerce Department; and university research centers such as UCLA, University of Michigan, El Colegio de Mexico.


International economics, migration, trade and trade agreements, Asian and Latin American trade and development, foreign direct investment, international finance


PhD, Economics, Stanford University, BA, Economics, University of Hawaii


“The Washington Consensus: A Post Mortem,” with Fernando DePaolis, in Asian Development, Miracles and Mirages: Essays in Honor of Seiji Naya, Sumner La Croix, ed., Summer 2006.

“NAFTA and the Broader Impacts of Trade Agreements on Industrial Development: When ‘Second-Order Effects’ Dominate,” in Empirical Methods in International Economics: Essays in Honor of Mordechai Kreinin, Edward Elgar (Michael Plummer, ed.) 2004, pp.216-228.

“Bangladesh: Searching for a Workable Development Path,” with Seiji Naya and Fernando DePaolis, Journal of East Asian Studies, Vol.1 No.3, Dec. 2004, pp.1-20.  Japanese translation published in Development and Poverty in Asia: Women's Empowerment and Quality Of Life, Yukio Ikemoto and Noriatsu Matsui, eds., forthcoming April 2006.

“NAFTA as a Metaphor for the Globalization Debate,” with Raul Hinojosa Ojeda in NAFTA in the New Millennium, Peter Smith and Edward Chambers, eds., (University of Alberta Press, 2003).

Working with Economic Data in Trade Policy Advocacy, with Moyara Ruehsen and Geza Feketekuty, (Monterey: International Commercial Diplomacy Project, 2001) published on-line at http://www.commercialdiplomacy.org/instructional_modules.htm.  Revised, with the assistance of Fernando DePaolis, October 2002.

Human Resource Development and Sustainable Growth,” Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies Vol. 37, No. 1&2, 2000, pp. 27-51.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

DPPG 8509 - Pacific Rim Dvlpmnt Challenges      

This dynamic region has been leading global growth over the past few decades. Yet many challenges and obstacles remain. Some of these challenges remain despite rapid economic growth (malnutrition, poor educational quality in rural areas, poor sanitation and related health problems, government corruption, women's rights and gender inequality, etc.). Others can be viewed as “collateral damage” from rapid economic growth (air and water pollution, rising income and asset inequality, aging populations, loss of cultural traditions and knowledge, etc.). Still others involve local, national, or regional responses to global challenges, such as climate change. Some challenges are local, regional, or national, while others require international cooperation and coordination to effectively address. Major players (US, EU, Japan, China, and maybe other BRICS) impact others in the region with their policy initiatives and shifting priorities. These challenges will require innovative policy initiatives, and this class will give students experience in drafting such policies.

Students will identify and research a specific challenge. This challenge can and should have multiple dimensions (social, human security, legal, political, etc.) but MUST include an economic dimension. Relevant economic principles will be introduced in lecture and discussion format to facilitate their incorporation into student research. Historical cases such as the Asian Financial Crisis and the global recession will be discussed, but the focus of the class will be forward looking.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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DPPG 8520 / ITDG 8520 - Intl Trade: Theory & Practice      

Trade theories and policies are studied, building from microeconomic principles and using a range of techniques, from rigorous economic modeling to simulations and role playing games. Topics include an analysis of the gains from free trade and the effects of barriers to trade such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies, and other instruments of commercial policy. Institutional frameworks for international trade – including regional trade agreements and the World Trade Organization – are also addressed.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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DPPG 8551 - SPR: Development Economics      

The course is designed to introduce students to the complex subject of Economic Development, its terms, tools, and theories, as well as the policies designed to stimulate it and the pitfalls waiting to trap the unwary policymaker. Its complexity derives from defining economic development as the intersection of economic, political, and social dimensions and their evolution over time, within a specific geographic and historical context. The course will address the technical, ideological and sociological implications of the “process of economic development” in both more and less developed economies around the world.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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DPPG 8661 - SEM: Trade,Migration,FDI,Devlp      

The link between globalization and development is crucial to understanding the positions of developing (and rich) countries towards trade policy, immigration, FDI, and technology transfer. Students will leave this class with an understanding of: the difference between economic growth and development, the short run and long run impacts of globalization on industrial structure, politics, government, and society, and the challenges faced by both large and small developing countries seeking an appropriate path in today’s globalized world. They will be able to assess the likely impact of policy change on a country’s economic growth rate, poverty levels, income distribution, social and political institutions, and culture, both in general and for a specific country case of their choice.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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ITDG 8681 - Quant Analysis for Trade      

Trade policy professionals and others interested in the impacts of trade policies on countries and industries need to understand the underlying motivations of the parties involved. To develop this understanding requires a firm grasp of the micro and macroeconomics of trade and trade policy as well as knowledge of laws and institutions. This course strengthens students' ability to conduct and interpret basic economic analysis at the national, industry, and firm level. The course is a mixture of practical analytical skills and a survey of current methodologies and research on the effects of trade policy on employment, incomes and select industrial and agricultural sectors.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

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