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.
"The Role of Attribution in Accountability: Evidence from Train Delays." (pdf)
"Electoral Incentives and Strategic Municipal Government Communication."
"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.