Research

Broadly speaking, my research interests fall within applied microeconomic theory, specifically applied to questions of political economy. My current work focuses on the role of information in elections, both how it affects campaigning and voting behaviors. 

Publications
Working Papers
We study the timing of politically motivated information revelations in a dynamic setting with both private and imperfect public information. We assume that voters discount the past in the sense that they place more importance on more recent news. We find that ex ante disclosure (prior to public news being released) will only be observed for a sufficiently small time discounting parameter and if the ex ante disclosure region is non-empty, there is a positive probability of observing full disclosure. Finally, we discuss applications to political competition.
  • Aggregating Local Preferences to Guide Policy with Daniel Benjamin, Gabriel Carroll, Ori Heffetz, and Miles Kimball
How could well-being data, for example those based on survey measures, be used for guiding policy? Exploring one direction, we analyze a mechanism that takes as inputs estimates of policy effects on different groups’ utility proxies (constructed from the well-being data), and aggregates them into policy-change recommendations. We develop three justifications for the mechanism based on: an analogy with social welfare maximization, a formal equivalence to a voting procedure, and an axiomatic characterization. We show that iterated application of the mechanism has a stationary point that is Pareto efficient. Through analytic results and simulations, we assess potential limitations of the mechanism, such as its sensitivity to the units in which policies are measured.

Works in Progress
  • Polling Unpopular Candidates
  • Left, Right, or Independent? How Independent Voters Affect Political Parties with Fikri Pitsuwan
  • Voting via the Normalized Gradient Addition Mechanism with Daniel Benjamin, Ori Heffetz, and Miles Kimball