Research

**My Google Scholar profile can be accessed here**

Much of my current research lies at the intersection of comparative and international political economy, with a general focus on the political determinants of economic development. Ongoing research projects explore:
  • the role that political institutions play in creating and enforcing rights to private property and political risk
  • authoritarian varieties and their impact on a variety of developmental outcomes, including participation in IMF programs, attracting FDI, and shaping political risk
  • the impact of the era of European colonialism on development

The full bibliography for "Colonialism and Democratization" (co-authored with Jonathan Krieckhaus and published in the February 2014 issue of APSA - Comparative Democratization newsletter) is available here.

For details of published papers, please follow the links below.

For the Appendix, Data, Code, and other materials related to "Colonialism, Property Rights, and the Modern World Income Distribution", click here

For the Data, Code, and other materials related to "Inequality, Institutions, and the Risks to Foreign Investment," click here


I have also written about the role of mass attitudes in new democracies, culminating in articles published in Democratization and Political Research Quarterly.

Fails, Matthew D., and Heather Nicole Pierce. 2010. “Changing Mass Attitudes and Democratic Deepening.” Political Research Quarterly 63 (1): 174-187.  Paper here

Fails, Matthew D. 2009. “Does Substantive Democratization Create More Committed Democrats? Surprising Evidence from Africa.” Democratization 16 (5): 841-866.
Paper here