Research

Peer-Reviewed Publications

“ Does Ethnic Voting Harm Democracy?” Conditional Acceptance. Democratization.

Ethnic Inequality and the Strength of Ethnic Identities in Sub-Saharan Africa,” with Masaaki Higashijima. Forthcoming. Political Behavior.

Social Mobility and Political Instability,Forthcoming.  Journal of Conflict Resolution.

A Two-Step Theory and Test of the Oil Curse: The Conditional Effect of Oil on Democratization,Forthcoming. Democratization.

The Political and Economic Consequences of Populist Rule in Latin America,” with Paul Kenny. Forthcoming. Government and Opposition.

“ Ethnic Inequality and Coups in Sub-Saharan Africa,” with Cristina Bodea. 2017. Journal of Peace Research. 54(3): 382-396.

Do Civil Wars, Coups and Riots Have the Same Structural Determinants?” with Cristina Bodea and Ibrahim Elbadawi. 2017. International Interactions. 43(3): 537-561.

“ Inequality, Ethnic Diversity, and Redistribution,” 2017 Journal of Economic Inequality. 15(1):1-23.

Diffusion or Confusion? Clustered Shocks and the Conditional Diffusion of Democracy,” with Mark Andreas Kayser and Jun Xiang. 2016. International Organization. 70(4): 687-726.

Why Class Inequality Breeds Coups but Not Civil Wars,” 2016. Journal of Peace Research. 53(5): 680-695.

Inequality, Economic Development, and Democratization,” 2016. Studies in Comparative International Development. 51(4):503-529.

Ethnic Inequality and the Dismantling of Democracy: A Global Analysis,” 2015. World Politics. 67(3): 469-505.

Editor-Reviewed Publications

“Does Inequality Harm Economic Development and Democracy? Accounting for Missing Values, Non-Comparable Observations and Endogeneity.” Forthcoming. In “Oxford Handbook of Politics of Development,” eds. Lancaster, Carol, and Nicolas van de Walle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [First View ]

“Inequality, Democratization and Democratic Consolidation,” 2013. APSA-Comparative Democratization Newsletter. 11(3): 21-24.

Under Review

The Structure of Ethnic Inequality and Ethnic Voting” (with Paul Kenny and Chunho Park) [Revise & Resubmit at Journal of Politics]

Abstract: Does ethnic inequality promote ethnic voting? This paper argues that inequality between ethnic groups increases ethnic voting but only when within group inequality is low. Between-group inequality (BGI) increases ethnic voting by creating clear demarcations between members of different ethnic groups. The effect of BGI, however, weakens as within-group inequality (WGI) increases because the latter reduces groups’ cohesion. We test this relationship statistically using group-level data on over 200 ethnic groups from 65 countries. We find strong support for our hypothesis: among ethnic groups with low WGI, BGI increases ethnic voting; but among those with high WGI, BGI has no discernible effect.

Social Mobility and Democratic Attitudes: Evidence from Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa(with Michael Miller) [Under Review]

Abstract: How does personal experience of intergenerational social mobility affect support for democracy? Does the relationship depend on the regime under which individuals experience mobility? While a large literature examines how wealth and economic inequality influence attitudes toward democracy and regime change, there has been little work on the effect of social mobility. We employ individual-level survey data from the Afrobarometer and Latinobarometer from 2000-13 to analyze how experiencing change in one’s socioeconomic position from childhood influences support for democracy. We find that individuals that experience upward mobility are more pro-democratic, even controlling for their education, current economic situation, and country-level growth. Further, the effect is stronger for individuals that lived most of their adult lives within democracy. We also show that the effect does not run through preferences for redistribution. Rather, it’s more closely related to fundamental changes in attitudes toward personal autonomy, social functioning, and the role of government.

“ Does the Content of Ethnic Cleavages Matter? Religion, Language, Race and Ethnic Voting” [Under Review]

Abstract: Why do some ethnic groups vote along ethnic lines while others do not? This paper looks at whether the objective characteristics of ethnicity – in terms of language, religion and race – affect ethnic voting. I address three sets of questions: (1) are ethnic groups that are objectively different from other groups of their country more likely to vote ethnically? (2) is ethnic voting higher among groups that are linguistically, religiously and racially homogeneous? (3) do some cleavages lead to more ethnic voting? The analysis uses a dataset covering 146 ethnic groups and 50 democracies worldwide between 1995 and 2014. I find that within-group homogeneity increases ethnic voting. On balance, however, there is little evidence that between-group heterogeneity or the identity of the cleavage affect ethnic voting. These results suggest that a group’s internal characteristics and the cohesiveness of its members play a key role in explaining its voting behavior.

Working Papers and Work in Progress

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