Welcome to my website. I’m a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis. My research focus on political representation and the behavior of political elites in established democracies, with a focus on causal inference. I am also interested in questions on women and politics, policy diffusion, and party politics.
My dissertation explores the biases of elected officials when building their image of the electorate, and how those biases may be overcome. Previous work has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Politics, Journal of Experimental Political Science, Electoral Studies, and Political Research Quarterly, among others.
Sage Best Paper Award, APSA 2018. My working paper “A Legacy of the Third Reich: Concentration Camps and Outgroup Tolerance” (joint work with Jonathan Homola, Margit Tavits, and Bill Simoneau) recently received the Sage Best Paper Award, for the best comparative politics paper presented at the 2018 APSA annual conference.
Job Market Paper: “Why do Politicians Misperceive Voter Preferences? Observational and Experimental Evidence”
To be responsive, politicians have to rely on beliefs about public will. Previous research suggests that perceptions of public opinion are often distorted. However, it remains unclear (1) why reelection-seeking elites mis-estimate constituent preferences, and (2) how to overcome these distorted beliefs. I argue that elite misperceptions result from differential exposure and social projection. First, inequalities in political voice generate distorted images of the electorate by making some voter signals more accessible than others. Second, representatives systematically overestimate support for positions they endorse. I find evidence in line with these arguments in a panel of Swedish MPs covering two decades of elite beliefs. Additionally, a novel experiment with Swiss elected officials reveals how promoting a more balanced exposure to voters and avoiding social projection increases perceptual accuracy. The results contribute to our understanding of democratic representation and uncover ways to bolster the links between voters and their representatives.