My research focuses on two broad areas: legislative institutions and political methodology. My current research (with Gary Hollibaugh and Jonathan Klingler) explores how personality and ideology come together to shape legislative behavior. We have developed the first-ever estimates of legislator personality over time and show how these predict a wide range of legislative behavior. This project is an inherently interdisciplinary enterprise, drawing insight from political science, psychology, experimental economics, and machine learning.
Additionally, I am working on a number of collaborative projects. The first of these is with Lawrence Rothenberg, in which we analyze the donation behavior of nonprofit foundations to environmental NGOs. Using social network analysis and zero-inflated log-normal utility threshold item response models, we are able to disentangle the motivations behind foundation giving and NGO adaptation. The other projects include an experimental study on the effects of valence factors on candidate evaluations (co-authored with Jonathan Klingler and Gary Hollibaugh), a project unifying survey and roll call approaches to the study of legislator-voter ideological matching, and a paper on measuring the effects of party loyalty on committee assignments (with Nicole Asmussen).
Bringing the Minority Back to the Party: A Theory of Majority and Minority Parties in Congress (forthcoming at the Journal of Theoretical Politics)
National Survival and the Confederate Congress (Historical Methods Volume 46, Issue 1, 2013)
More than a Feeling: Personality and Congressional Behavior (with Gary Hollibaugh and Jonathan Klingler; Under Review)
- A piece by me summarizing the work by me at the Washington Post Monkey Cage
- Andrew Prokop's write-up over at Vox (Ezra Klein's new venture) on the paper
- Jonathan Bernstein's link at Bloomberg
Vox Populi, Vox Dei? Estimating Ideal Points with Voter Perceptions (Revise & Resubmit at the Journal of Politics)
Missing in Action: A Bayesian Hierarchical Model of NA/DK Responses in Surveys (Revise & Resubmit at Social Science Research)
The Tangled Web of Policy Support: Foundations and Environmental NGOs (with Larry Rothenberg; Under Revision)
A Sense of His Soul: Candidate Imagery, Signaling and Voting Intent (with Gary Hollibaugh and Jonathan Klingler; Under Revision)
When Loyalty Tested: Do Party Leaders Use Committee Assignments as Rewards? (with Nicole Asmussen; Under Revision)
A World without the Filibuster: Alas, More of the Same (Under Revision)
Filibusted: The Role of Generational Differences in Obstructionist Behavior in the U.S. Senate
Is the Majority Party Just and Interest Group?