Peter Buisseret

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Harvard University.

I was previously an Assistant Professor at the Harris School, at the University of Chicago. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. I received my PhD from Princeton University.

I work in the fields of political economy, and formal theory.


Address: CGIS K309, 1737 Cambridge Street, MA 02138


Office Hours: Thursday 2:00pm-4:20pm, Sign up via Calendly

Work in Progress

[1.] Pandora's Ballot Box: Electoral Politics of Referendums (with Richard Van Weelden) [In Progress]

[2.] How Ranked Choice Voting Shapes Elections (with Carlo Prato) [In Progress]

[3.] By-Product Learning, Selective Exposure and Political Competition (with Avidit Acharya and Adam Meirowitz) [In Progress]

[4.] The Politics of Collective Principals (with Vincent Anesi) [In Progress]

Published and Forthcoming

[1.] Polarization, Valence, and Policy Competition (with Richard Van Weelden) [PDF]

American Economic Review: Insights, forthcoming

[2.] Party Nomination Strategies in List PR systems (with Olle Folke, Carlo Prato, and Johanna Rickne) [PDF]

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

A previous version won the “CQ Press Award” for best paper on legislative studies at APSA 2017

[3.] Making Elections Work: Accountability with Selection and Control (with Vincent Anesi) [PDF]

American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, forthcoming

[4.] Competing Principals? Legislative Representation in List PR Electoral Systems (with Carlo Prato) [PDF]

American Journal of Political Science, 2022

[5.] Crashing the Party? Elites, Outsiders, and Elections (with Richard Van Weelden) [PDF]

American Journal of Political Science, 2020

[6.] The Race to the Base (with Dan Bernhardt and Sinem Hidir) [PDF]

American Economic Review, 2020

Winner of the "Best Paper" award at the Great Lakes Political Economy Theory Conference 2018

[7.] Reelection and Renegotiation: International Agreements in the Shadow of the Polls (with Dan Bernhardt) [PDF]

American Political Science Review, 2018

[8.] Dynamics of Policymaking: Stepping Back to Leap Forward, Stepping Forward to Keep Back (with Dan Bernhardt) [PDF]

American Journal of Political Science, 2017

[9.] Electoral Competition with Entry under Non-Majoritarian Run-off Rules [PDF]

Games and Economic Behavior, 2017

[10.] Electoral Control and the Human Capital of Politicians (with Carlo Prato) [PDF]

Games and Economic Behavior, 2016

[11.] "Together or Apart"? On Joint versus Separate Electoral Accountability [PDF]

The Journal of Politics, 2016

Refereed Conference Publications

[12.] Voting Behavior under Proportional Representation (with Carlo Prato) [PDF]

Journal of Theoretical Politics, Special Conference Issue on "Personalism and the Personal Vote in PR Systems", 2020

Courses Taught

[1.] Political Economy (Gov1004) [UG]

An introduction to theories of strategic behavior in politics. We study how individuals and groups pursue their goals in a variety of political contexts, and how their strategic interactions give rise to social dilemmas. We apply our theoretical tools to real-world political and economic phenomena, including conflicts over redistribution, political polarization, corruption, and the persistence of inefficient policy.

[2.] Formal Theory I (Gov2005) [G]

This course is a rigorous introduction to tools and models that are used to analyze political behavior in strategic contexts. Its objective is to provide students with a sufficient knowledge of game theory to read applied research papers, and to prepare students for advanced coursework. Topics include individual choice, and static and dynamic games of complete and incomplete information.

[3.] Formal Theory II (Gov2006) [G]

We explore a selection of advanced topics in game theory and applied modeling, and survey applications of formal theory to political science and political economy. Topics include: global games, strategic information transmission, delegation, elections and electoral institutions, legislative policymaking, lobbying, accountability, bureaucracy, and decentralization.