Welcome! I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP), and on the job market for positions starting in Summer/Fall 2019. I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University.
My research is concentrated in the areas of American Politics and Political Methodology, with a focus on how U.S. political institutions moderate interactions between elected officials and private interests.
In my dissertation, I make use of rules in three American states (Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin) that require or permit groups to disclose their positions on bills on which they lobby the state legislature. I use these disclosures to estimate the positions of private interests in an ideological space, permitting the exploration of important questions in U.S. politics, including (1) the extent to which interest groups and corporations contribute to polarization; (2) whether campaign contributions by political action committees (PACs) are motivated by access-seeking or ideology; and (3) the nature of agenda control in legislatures. I find that private interests are more extreme than indicated by their campaign contributions, suggesting that even when these groups give to politicians on both sides of the aisle, they may still in fact exacerbate polarization. Moreover, the results indicate that many business interests employ sophisticated strategies to influence public officials whom they disagree with. The data also enable new tests of theories of legislative gatekeeping, with results that inform theoretical debates about agenda control in legislatures. In related research, I extend this analysis to the U.S. Congress and lobbying at the federal level.
In a separate project, I develop a novel theory of variation in issue emphasis by candidates across different stages of the election cycle, and test the theory’s empirical implications.