Yumiko Shimabukuro's core research and teaching interests lie in the areas of comparative political economy and social welfare policy with a regional expertise in Northeast Asia. She is the Director of the Urban and Social Policy concentration for the Executive MPA program and serves as the faculty director of the Global Leadership Development Training initiative.

Professor Shimabukuro is the author of the case handbook, The Brewing Welfare Crisis in East Asia: The Pitfalls of Social Investment and the Political Economy of Productivism. This book offers a set of five innovative, multidimensional case studies that examine the wide range of social problems currently plaguing East Asia in the areas of housing, social security, fertility, child welfare, and labor markets.  It explores the causes and consequences of these problems as well as the public, private and non-profit sector responses to them in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong.   

She is currently completing a second book manuscript entitled Building an Inegalitarian Welfare State: The Impact of Dualistic Coordinated Capitalism & Elite-Made Democracy in Japan that analyzes how the country's pursuit of a modern capitalist democracy over the course of a century generated conditions inimical to the development of a safety net. It amends the Varieties of Capitalism approach and implements the new research agenda developed by "the historical turn in democratization studies" to explain the institutional co-evolution of markets, politics, and the welfare states in Japan and beyond.  Her article-length papers address the issues of industrial relations, the social policy preferences of business and organized labor, and the redistributive politics of disadvantaged groups. Shimabukuro's research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, the Association of Asian Studies, and the Center for International Studies at MIT, among others.

Beyond her academic work, Professor Shimabukuro leverages her two-decades long professional experience straddling the financial, non-profit, and academic sectors and offers advanced professional development training for the mid-career MPA program in Economic Policy Management, Columbia Business School, and numerous other venues throughout the country.  She is the creator of the 5S Method, a comprehensive guide to effective knowledge management and transfer derived from the fields of cognitive science, data visualization, psychology, neuroscience, anatomy, linguistics, education, and voice science. 

Professor Shimabukuro received an MIA in International Economics from Columbia University, a PhD in Political Economy from the Department of Political Science at MIT, and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Harvard University.  She is the recipient of the Harvard Teaching Excellence Award and the Columbia University Outstanding Teaching Award.