Zhenhuan (Reed) Lei

I am an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science and the La Follette School of Public Affairs, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, since August 2020. I am also a visiting scholar at the National School of Development, Peking University, starting from August 2022.

My research and teaching focus on comparative political economy, authoritarian politics, and Chinese politics. Currently, I am working on a book project that investigates why some governments have stronger incentives to invest in infrastructure projects than others. My research also tries to understand the functions of political institutions in China, including the relationship between the Party and the government, the legislative functions of the parliament and government, and the centralization reform of the judicial system. My work is published or forthcoming in the Journal of Comparative Economics and the Journal of Politics.

I was born in Chengdu, China. I received a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a Bachelor of Economics in International Economics and Trade from China Foreign Affairs University; an M.P.A. and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California; and a Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University.


  • Email: zhenhuan.lei@wisc.edu
  • Office: 322D North Hall
  • Twitter: @Reed Lei
  • 微博: @Reed雷镇环 [常年追星,不务正业]

Chinese self-introduction: