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Anthony Howell

Anthony Howell

Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

School of Public Affairs
Arizona State University
411 N. Central Avenue, Ste. 450
Phoenix, AZ 85004-0687


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Anthony Howell is an assistant professor in public policy and management in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. Previously, he served on the faculty in the School of Economics at Peking University in Beijing for five years. Anthony served as a Fulbright scholar at the Lincoln Institute of Urban Development and Land Policy at Peking University, and held visiting research fellowships at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington D.C. and the Asian Development Bank in Manilla. Anthony received his PhD in Geography from University of California-Los Angeles and obtained MS degrees in both statistics and geography/GIS. His main research fields include urban-regional economics, economic development, labor migration and innovation with a focus on the Chinese economy. Anthony's research has been published in leading academic journals including the Journal of Urban Economics, World Development, Research Policy, Economic Geography, and Journal of Regional Science, among others. He received a multiyear grant from the National Science Foundation of China to explore the role of geography, innovation and state support policies in promoting local development in China. He also served as a guest editor for a special issue on innovation and management for the Economic Modeling journal.  Anthony’s research interests are in a large way a natural extension of his own personal experiences facing issues of poverty and inequality in early childhood, and working full-time on the factory assembly lines in the auto industry during summers as a teenager. It was during these early years that he became interested in issues about labor and the nature of work, as well as issues related to race, poverty and inequality. As factory plants later began to close down in his hometown, he also developed an interest in urban and regional development issues. Anthony added an international dimension to his research interests during his collegiate years when he was able to successfully secure external grants and scholarships to engage in community and economic development projects in rural parts of western Ireland, impoverished neighborhoods in southern parts of Mexico, and restive multi-ethnic communities in northwestern China. In total, Anthony has spent more than five years living and working in the developing world.


  • PhD, Geography, University of California-Los Angeles, 2014
  • MS, Statistics, University of California-Los Angeles, 2012
  • BA, Chinese Language and Culture, Michigan State University, 2009
  • MS, Geography/GIS, Michigan State University, 2009
  • BA, Political Science, Michigan State University, 2007
  • BA, International Development, Michigan State University, 2006


Journal Articles

In Press

Howell, A. Agglomeration, absorptive capacity and knowledge governance: Implications for public–private firm innovation in China. Regional Studies DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2019.1659505. (link )

Howell, A. and L. Zhao. Turning points in the Chinese Civil War: A financial market perspective. Australian Economic History Review DOI: 10.1111/aehr.12168. (link )


Howell, A. J. 2019. Ethnic entrepreneurship, initial financing, and business performance in China. Small Business Economics 52(3):697-712. DOI: 10.1007/s11187-017-9980-5. (link )


Howell, A. 2018. Agglomeration, (un)‐related variety and new firm survival in China: Do local subsidies matter?. Regional Science 97(3):485-500. DOI: 10.1111/pirs.12269. (link )


Howell, A. 2017. Impacts of migration and remittances on ethnic income inequality in rural China. World Development 94(Jun):200-211. DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.01.005. (link )

Howell, A. 2017. Marshallian sources of relatedness and their effects on firm survival and subsequent success in China. Economic Geography 93(4):346-366. DOI: 10.1080/00130095.2017.1308223. (link )

Howell, A. 2017. Picking ‘winners' in China: Do subsidies matter for indigenous innovation and firm productivity?. China Economic Review 44(Jul):154-165. DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2017.04.005. (link )


Howell, A. 2016. Firm R&D, innovation and easing financial constraints in China: Does corporate tax reform matter?. Research Policy 45(10):1996-2007. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.07.002. (link )

Howell, A., C. He, R. Yang and C. Fan. 2016. Technological relatedness and asymmetrical firm productivity gains under market reforms in China. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 9(3):499-515. DOI: 10.1093/cjres/rsw024. (link )


Howell, A. 2015. Chinese minority income disparity in Urumqi: An analysis of Han-Uyghur labour market outcomes in the formal and informal economies. China: An International Journal 11(3): 1–23 11(3): 1–23(3):1–23. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2705950. (link )

Howell, A. J. 2015. ‘Indigenous’ innovation with heterogeneous risk and new firm survival in a transitioning Chinese economy. Research Policy 44(10):1866-1876. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.06.012. (link )


Howell, A. 2011. Labor market segmentation in Urumqi, Xinjiang: Exposing labor market segments and testing the relationship between migration and segmentation. Growth and Change 42(2):200-226. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2705949. (link )

Howell, A. and C. C. Fan. 2011. Migration and inequality in Xinjiang: A survey of Han and Uyghur migrants in Urumqi. Eurasian Geography and Economics 52(1):119-139. DOI: 10.2747/1539-7216.52.1.119. (link )

Book Chapters


Howell, A. 2018. Innovation and firm performance in the People's Republic of China: A structural approach with spillovers. Pp. 470-501 In: Huang, B., P. J. Morgan and N. Yoshino eds., Avoiding the Middle-Income Trap in Asia: The Role of Trade, Manufacturing, and Finance. Asian Development Bank Institute. ISBN: 978-4-89974-079-7.


Howell, A. J., B. Gustaffson and S. Ding. 2017. Investigating the patterns and determinants of Han and ethnic minority household migration in China. In: Gustaffson, B., S. Ding and R. Hazmath eds., Ethnicity and Inequality in China. Routledge. New York and Oxford.


Howell, A. 2014. Is geography 'dead' or 'destiny' in a globalizing world? A network analysis and latent space moeling approach of the World Trade Network. Pp. 281-299 In: Grinin, L. E. and A. V. Korotayev eds., History and Mathematics: Trends and Cycles. Volgograd Cebter fir Social Research.