My dissertation research shows how both human psychology and electoral institutions can hinder voters’ ability to hold their governments accountable. Specifically, I use individual-linked information on train delays in a natural experiment to show that the confusion around government responsibility and a perceptual bias favoring recent information shape how voters evaluate government for performance. Separately, I collect original elections data and document how election timing hampers voters from effectively holding their incumbent politicians accountable. My three-paper dissertation uses a broad spectrum of original data on local politics – an underexplored area that presents myriad opportunities to study accountability, political behavior, and the causes and effects of public policy.
“Evidence in Voting Rights Act Litigation: Producing Accurate Estimates of Racial Voting Patterns." Election Law Journal 14(4): 361-381. December 2015. (pdf)
“Vote-Seeking Third Parties in the Twentieth Century" (with Ron Rapoport) in Guide to U.S. Political Parties, ed. Marjorie Hershey, CQ Press, 2014.
“A balancing act: Physical balance, through arousal, influences size perception" (with Michael Geuss, Jeanine Stefanucci, and Nicholas Stevens). Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 72(7): 1890-1902. October 2010.
"Off-Cycle and Out of Office: Election Timing and the Incumbency Advantage." Revise & resubmit at Journal of Politics. (pdf)
"The Role of Attribution in Accountability: Evidence from Train Delays." (pdf)
"Local Representation and Presentation: Assessing Municipal Government Press Releases."
"The Effect of County Council Elections on Fiscal Policies," (with Christopher Warshaw).
“Realistic Image Primes in Experimental Research," (with Tess Wise).
MBTAr: R package to access data from the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) web API.
seeclickfixr: R package to interface with the SeeClickFix constituent request web API.