I am a PhD candidate in Politics at Princeton University specializing in comparative political economy, causal inference, and experimental research design with a strong regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. I study clientelism and electoral accountability in weak states using a mixed-methods approach that combines observational data with lab-in-the-field, survey and conjoint experiments. My book project explores to what extent elections serve as accountability mechanisms in developing countries, advancing a novel explanation for the widespread use of vote buying despite the presence of the secret ballot. My co-authored substantive work investigates how government reliance on non-tax revenues—particularly aid and oil—shapes citizens’ willingness to sanction poor performance using electoral and non-electoral mechanisms. In ongoing work, I use a modified conjoint design to study why information experiments often produce null results despite strong theoretical predictions to the contrary.
In studying these issues, I seek to combine careful, micro-level experimental work with observational data and novel measurement strategies. During a combined 14 months of fieldwork in Uganda, Ghana and Kenya, I have used surveys, in-depth interviews, field experiments, and behavioral games to explore when citizens make accountability demands and whether elections serve to relieve or amplify them. My experience in the field has also yielded an active methodological research agenda devoted to clarifying the promise and limitations of experimental and quasi-experimental research designs. This includes published work on the regression discontinuity design as well as ongoing work on the conjoint design and interviewer effects in lab-in-the-field and survey experiments.
Prior to coming to Princeton, I earned an MPhil in International Relations from Cambridge University and worked in London for the Transnational Crisis Project. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of California, Irvine, where I received a B.A. in Political Science. My dissertation committee members are Kosuke Imai, Lucy Martin, Helen Milner, and Leonard Wantchekon. Please use the navigation bar at the top of this site to see my research, teaching experience and updated curriculum vitae.