The Electoral Consequences of Compensation for Globalization (2023) European Union Politics 24(3): 427-446

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) provides support to workers in EU member states who are made redundant as a result of globalization. I investigate the impact of the EGF on voters' support for protectionist political parties using a difference-in-differences research design. I find that in regions exposed to rising imports, EGF assistance generates a small decrease in voters' support for one of Europe's most prominent anti-globalization parties, which ranges in magnitude from zero to 1.5 percentage points. 

Interests, Institutions and the Environment (2022) International Studies Quarterly 66 (2)

Countries hold divergent positions in international environmental negotiations as a result of domestic politics. Domestic political institutions privilege the interests of some groups over others depending on their geographic distribution. Groups with varied interests in protecting the environment often exhibit different geographic patterns, as illustrated by negotiations over fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organization (WTO). These political dynamics, as well as the electoral success of Green political parties, influence governments' spending priorities, as well as states' positions in international environmental negotiations.

Economic Geography, Politics, and the World Trade Regime (2022) World Trade Review 21: 367-379

Because economic activities like production and employment occur unevenly across space, international trade impacts various parts of a country differently. As a result, public opinion about trade differs across geographic areas within countries. The geographic disparities in public attitudes towards trade often align with salient political cleavages and the resulting politicization may threaten states’ continued economic openness, as well as their engagement with, and even support for, the world trade regime.

Incumbents Beware: The Impact of Offshoring on Elections (2022) British Journal of Political Science 52 (2): 758-780 

One of the most controversial aspects of globalization is offshoring, when manufacturing operations and business functions move abroad. Although voters generally dislike offshoring, it remains unclear how the movement of jobs abroad impacts democratic elections. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, I find that incumbent government parties lose more votes in municipalities where a local plant moved production abroad between elections than in municipalities without such an event. This finding holds for multiparty coalition governments where voters disproportionately punish the largest party in coalition for offshoring.

Partisan Technocrats: How Leaders Matter in International Organizations (2021) Global Studies Quarterly 1 (3): 1-14

International organizations make policy decisions that affect the lives of people around the world. We argue that these decisions depend, in part, on the political ideology of the organization’s chief executive. We investigate the influence of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We find that when the Managing Director is politically left of center, the IMF requires less labor market liberalization from borrowing countries in exchange for a loan.

Open Economy Politics Revisited (2021) In The Oxford Handbook of International Political Economy, Oxford University Press

Scholars working in the open economy politics (OEP) tradition use interests, institutions and international bargaining to explain economic policies, as well as international economic relations. This chapter describes the OEP framework and discusses recent developments that have challenged it, including the behavioral revolution and the growing importance of economic geography.

The Economic Origins of Authoritarian Values: Evidence from Local Trade Shocks in the United Kingdom (2021) Comparative Political Studies 54 (13)

We argue that cultural values are central to understanding the backlash against globalization. However, these values are shaped, in part, by long-run economic change. Using an original survey of the British population, we show that individuals living in regions where the local labor market was more substantially affected by imports from China have significantly more authoritarian values.

Economic Geography, Politics, and Policy (2020) Annual Review of Political Science 23: 187-202

Globalization has reduced the importance of distance between countries. Yet, within countries, geography matters now more than ever. Economic activities, including production and employment, occur unevenly across space within countries, and globalization consequently impacts various regions differently. By examining economic geography, researchers will find new traction on long-standing theoretical debates and valuable insights on recent developments, including the growing backlash against globalization.

International Demands for Austerity: Examining the impact of the IMF on the public sector (2019) The Review of International Organizations 14 (1): 35-57

We argue IMF loans have varied impacts on borrowers because the conditions attached to IMF financing differ across countries. To demonstrate this point, we investigate IMF loans with and without conditions that require public sector reforms in exchange for financing. We find that the addition of a public sector reform condition to a country’s IMF program corresponds with a reduction in the public sector wage bill. Although IMF loans prompt cuts to the public sector wage bill in the short-term, these cuts do not persist in the long-term.

Spending to Win: Political Institutions, Economic Geography and Government Subsidies (2018) Cambridge University Press, Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions Series

Why do some governments redistribute more narrowly than others? Their willingness to selectively target economic benefits, like subsidies to businesses, depends on the way politicians are elected and the geographic distribution of economic activities. Based on interviews with government ministers and bureaucrats, as well as parliamentary records, industry publications, local media coverage, and new quantitative data, I demonstrate that government policy-making can be explained by the combination of electoral institutions and economic geography. 

Electoral Systems and Policy Outcomes (2017) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford University Press

Despite a growing body of research, little consensus exists as to precisely how electoral institutions affect policy. One reason is the imprecise manner in which electoral institutions are measured. Better measures may improve our understanding and improved theories that clarify the causal mechanism(s) linking electoral systems to policy outcomes will also help to clarify the relationship between electoral systems and policies. Finally, different types of empirical evidence are needed to shed new light on the policy effects of electoral institutions.

Populism and the Brexit vote (2016) Comparative Politics Newsletter, The Organized Section in Comparative Politics of the American Political Science Association, Volume 26, Issue 2, Fall

In a surprise result, fifty-two percent of voters in the UK referendum on European Union membership chose to leave the EU. Was this unexpected outcome the result of populist politics? If so, what can we learn from ‘Brexit’ about populism?  

Compensating the Losers: Evidence of Policy Responses to Globalization from Congressional Roll Call Votes (2015) International Interactions 41 (1): 46-60 [data]

This analysis of US Congressional roll call votes from 1980–2004 reveals that pro-trade legislators who represent relatively more exporters are more likely to vote for increased spending on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program designed to provide financial assistance to workers who lose their jobs or experience a reduction in wages due to increased foreign trade. Even Republicans, who often oppose spending increases support greater TAA funding when a substantial portion of their constituents stand to gain from freer trade.

Electoral Systems and Trade (2015) In The Oxford Handbook of the Political Economy of International Trade, Oxford University Press

Why have scholars reached inconsistent inferences about the effects of electoral systems on trade policy? This question is the central focus of this chapter. 

PTAs and Public Procurement (2015) In Trade Cooperation: The Purpose, Design and Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements, Cambridge University Press

More and more preferential trade agreements (PTAs) include rules that aim to increase the competitiveness of government procurement. But research shows that such rules have limited success in liberalizing procurement markets. Why do governments sign PTAs with public procurement chapters? Governments may do so safe in the knowledge that they can continue to ‘buy national’ with relative impunity because of the opacity of public procurement. When a government needs to buy goods or services from a foreign firm, the PTA’s procurement rules give them political cover to do so. 

International Negotiations in the Shadow of National Elections (2014) International Organization 68 (3): 701-720 

Domestic politics influence the terms and conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans. IMF loan conditions are more lenient when borrowing governments face democratic elections within the next six months. The IMF appears to adapt its lending decisions to countries' individual circumstances by waiving or modifying loan conditions when domestic political constraints are particularly intense.

Buying National: Democracy and Public Procurement (2014) International Interactions 40 (5): 657-82

Does democracy promote free trade? In an analysis of 138 countries from 1990 to 2008, we find that democratic countries have lower tariffs than non-democracies, on average, but higher levels of discrimination in public procurement. Democratically-elected governments are more likely to discriminate against foreign firms when awarding lucrative government contracts.

Think Globally, Buy Locally: International Agreements and Government Procrement (2014) The Review of International Organizations 9 (3): 333-52

A growing number of international agreements regulate governments' purchases of goods and services. In theory, such rules make "buy national" programs illegal. Yet, governments generally fail to change their purchasing behavior after signing international procurement agreements. Governments continue to discriminate against foreign firms when awarding lucrative government contracts, even as signatories to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) or as members of the European Union (EU).

Welfare versus Subsidies: Governmental Spending Decisions in an Era of Globalization (2012) The Journal of Politics 74 (4): 1171–1183 [data, do file]

International trade affects countries’ budgets, particularly in developing countries where trade taxes make up a large portion of government revenue. In a study of 44 developing countries, I find that increased trade prompts governments to cut social welfare spending. However, governments spend more on industrial subsidies following a rise in imports.

Electoral Systems, Voters' Interests and Geographic Dispersion (2012) British Journal of Political Science 42 (4): 855-877 [data, do file]

Why are leaders more responsive to parochial interests in some democracies than in others? Political institutions and economic geography provide the answer. Politicians competing in plurality electoral systems privilege special interests when they are geographically concentrated. When special interests are geographically diffuse, politicians in proportional systems do more to cater to their demands.

A Non-Tariff Protectionist Bias in Majoritarian Politics: Government Subsidies and Electoral Institutions (2012) International Studies Quarterly 56 (4): 777-785  

Which governments use subsidies to protect domestic producers and why? In a study of 68 countries, I find that spending on subsidies is higher in majoritarian democracies than in democracies with proportional electoral rules, holding all else equal.

International Negotiations and Domestic Politics: The Case of IMF Labor Market Conditionality (2012) International Organization 66 (1): 27-61 [data]

How much influence do citizens have in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund? Using new data from IMF loan documents, we find that citizens can impact IMF loan agreements. Democratic governments facing powerful labor at home receive less stringent labor-related loan conditions. This finding suggests that the IMF is responsive to domestic politics in borrowing countries.

Democratic Differences: Electoral Institutions and Compliance with GATT/WTO Agreements (2010) European Journal of International Relations 16 (4): 711-729 [complaints, data, do file]

Why do some democracies comply with international rules more often than others? Electoral politics explains this variation. Among democratic members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), governments elected via plurality rules and/or single-member districts are more likely to violate WTO agreements than those elected via proportional rules and/or multi-member districts.

International Trade and Domestic Legal Systems: Examining the Impact of Islamic Law (2010) International Interactions 37 (4): 335-362

In this article, we test of the effect of Islamic law on countries’ trade relations. We find that, on average, levels of bilateral trade are lowest among Islamic law states, holding all else constant. However, the importance of countries’ legal systems appears to be decreasing over time. We speculate that the decreased importance of legal systems may be due to the growing role of international arbitration bodies.

Strategic Targeting: The Effect of Institutions and Interests on Distributive Transfers (2009) Comparative Political Studies 42 (5): 670-695

Leaders in some democracies are more reactive to pressures for trade protection than in others. The varied responsiveness of elected officials results from the dissimilar rules that govern democratic elections around the world. In this study, I find that politicians elected via proportional electoral systems are more responsive to increased demand for trade protection.

The Costs of Openness: Examining the Missing Link between Globalization and Spending (2006) IIIS Discussion Paper No. 185

The relationship between globalization and social insurance is likely to be more sharply positive among countries with relatively immobile labor. I test this argument using data on social expenditures in both developed and developing countries. The findings indicate that trade exposure increases social spending in countries where workers face high adjustment costs. When workers face low adjustment costs, trade exposure has a strong reductive effect on social spending. This reductive effect declines as adjustment costs increase. 

PhD Dissertation 

Choosing Conflict: Explaining the Form of Redistributive Policies

Committee: Stephan Haggard, J. Lawrence Broz, David Lake, Gordon Hanson and Neal Beck