Publications

Publications List

330 Publications
Thesis
As many crises do not evolve into full scale conflict, and almost all conflicts end short of war, an important question is how states manage uncertainty? This thesis investigates the relationships between uncertainty, rhetoric, alliances, and combat. The thesis consists of four articles. Much ado about nothing? Diplomacy, war, and the incentive to…
Journal Article
The Journal of Politics, Ahead of Print.
Journal Article
Medicaid programs increasingly finance competing, capitated managed care plans rather than administering fee-for-service (FFS) programs. We study how the transition from FFS to managed care affects high- and low-cost infants (blacks and Hispanics, respectively). We find that black-Hispanic disparities widen—e.g., black mortality and preterm birth…
Journal Article
We study the extent to which communication can serve as a collusion device in one-shot first- and second-price sealed-bid auctions. In an array of laboratory experiments we vary the amount of interactions (communication and/or transfers without commitment) available to bidders. We find that communication alone leads to statistically significant…
Journal Article
It seems obvious that agreements to cut tariffs will raise trade between their signatories. But recent studies show that some agreements widely considered to be landmarks in economic history had either a remarkably small impact on trade or none at all. Among those agreements are the Cobden-Chevalier Treaties and the long series of tariff accords…
Miscellaneous
After decades of convergence, the gender gap in employment outcomes has recently plateaued in many rich countries, despite the fact that women have increased their investment in human capital over this period. We propose a hypothesis to reconcile these two trends: that when they are making key human capital decisions, women in modern cohorts…
Journal Article

We present a dynamic model of sequential information acquisition by a heterogeneous committee. At each date, agents decide whether to vote to adopt one of two alternatives or continue to collect more information. The process stops when a qualified majority vote for an alternative. Three main insights emerge from our analysis and are consistent…

Journal Article
This is a timely and ambitious paper on an important topic. The phenomenon of social sorting and its role in human capital transmission is one that every parent and homeowner has direct experience with. On the other hand, the economic research tying it to {$\backslash$textquotedblleft}larger{$\backslash$textquotedblright} issues of national…
Unpublished
By downplaying externalities, magnifying the cost of moral behavior, or suggesting not being pivotal, exculpatory narratives can allow individuals to maintain a positive image when in fact acting in a morally questionable way. Conversely, responsibilizing narratives can help sustain better social norms. We investigate when narratives emerge from a…
Miscellaneous
Political and social polarization are a significant cause of conflict and poor gover-nance in many societies, thus understanding their causes is of considerable importance. Here we demonstrate that shifts in socialization strategy similar to political polarization and/or identity politics could be a constructive response to periods of apparent…
Journal Article
© 2018 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. We quantify the effect of deliberation on the decisions of US appellate courts. We estimate a model in which strategic judges communicate before casting their votes and then compare the probability of mistakes in the court with deliberation with a counterfactual of no communication. The…
Journal Article
Measurement error is ubiquitous in experimental work. It leads to imperfect statistical controls, attenuated estimated effects of elicited behaviors, and biased correlations between characteristics. We develop statistical techniques for handling experimental measurement error. These techniques are applied to data from the Caltech Cohort Study,…
Journal Article
We use laboratory experiments to test for one of the foundations of the rational voter paradigm - that voters respond to probabilities of being pivotal. We exploit a setup that entails stark theoretical effects of information concerning the preference distribution (as revealed through polls) on costly participation decisions. The data reveal…
Journal Article
We introduce firm and worker heterogeneity into a model of innovation‐driven endogenous growth. Individuals who differ in ability sort into either a research sector or a manufacturing sector that produces differentiated goods. Each research project generates a new variety of the differentiated product and a random technology for producing it…
Journal Article
We introduce a model that extends the standard vote choice model to encompass text. In our model, votes and speech are generated from a common set of underlying preference parameters. We estimate the parameters with a sparse Gaussian copula factor model that estimates the number of latent dimensions, is robust to outliers, and accounts for zero…
Journal Article
We explore the possibility that a global productivity slowdown is responsible for the widespread decline in the labor share of national income. In a neoclassical growth model with endogenous human capital accumulation a la Ben Porath (1967) and capital-skill complementarity a la Grossman et al. (2017), the steady-state labor share is positively…
Journal Article
Behavioral economics presents a "paternalistic" rationale for intervention by a benevolent government. This paper studies the desirability of various forms of collective action when government decisions are determined via the political process in response to votes by time inconsistent voters. We consider an economy where the only "distortion" is…
Journal Article
A law prohibiting a particular behavior does not directly change the payoff to an individual should he engage in the prohibited behavior. Rather, any change in the individual's payoff, should he engage in the prohibited behavior, is a consequence of changes in other peoples' behavior. If laws do not directly change payoffs, they are "cheap talk,"…
Miscellaneous
Prior International Political Economy (IPE) public opinion research has primarily examined how economic and socio-cultural factors shape individuals' views on the flows of goods, people, and capital. What has largely been ignored is whether individuals also care about rewarding or punishing foreign countries for their policies on these subjects…
Unpublished
Theories of multilateral bargaining and coalition formation applied to legislatures predict that parties' seat shares determine their bargaining power. We present findings that are difficult to reconcile with this prediction. We use data from 2,898 municipal Spanish elections in which two parties tie in the number of seats. The party with slightly…
Journal Article
We use a policy change that occurred in Oregon in the late 1980s to re-visit the budget-maximizing agenda setter theory of local public expenditure. Prior to 1987, Oregon school districts held operating levy elections with an exogenous, often zero or very low, spending reversion. From 1987 through 1990, districts experienced a “safety net” regime…
Journal Article
Previous research has investigated the effects of violence and warfare on individuals' well-being, mental health, and individual prosociality and risk aversion. This study establishes the short- and long-term effects of exposure to violence on short-term memory and aspects of cognitive control. Short-term memory is the ability to store information…
Journal Article
Individual contributors far outpace political action committees (PACs) as the largest source of campaign financing, yet recent scholarship has largely focused on PAC giving. Moreover, the literature on individual contributors questions whether they sophisticatedly differentiate among candidates according to their policy positions and spheres of…
Journal Article
An enormous literature documents that willingness to pay (WTP) is less than willingness to accept (WTA) a monetary amount for an object, a phenomenon called the endowment effect. Using data from an incentivized survey of a representative sample of 3,000 U.S. adults, we add one (probably) surprising additional finding: WTA and WTP for a lottery are…
Journal Article
Does foreign aid enable or constrain elite capture of public revenues? Reflecting on prominent debates in the foreign aid literature, we examine whether recipient preferences are consistent with a view that foreign donors wield substantial control over the flow of aid dollars, making elite capture more difficult and mass benefits more likely. We…