Reader Kempton asked me if Justin did his thesis on China's agricultural reform. I believe he did. I think his 1992 AER piece was part of his dissertation. I believe that paper was also the first attempt to quantify the benefits of the introduction of the household responsibility system (聯產承包責任制) in China's country side.
Actually, in addition to Justin, I believe there are a couple of other Chinese graduates from Chicago who did choose China's agricultral reform as their thesis topic. They are James Wen (at Trinity), Dennis Yang (at CUHK) and Zhao Yaohui (at Beijing U)