Why do poor people often participate in politics at lower rates then wealthier counterparts, even when they stand to benefit more from political change? I draw insights from behavioral economics and psychology to understand when and why people do (or do not) take political action. I show that the experience of financial stress alters how people think about decisions, leading to divergences in political behavior. Related research interests include social movements, political violence, rights advocacy, and the spread of social norms. Research methods include lab, survey, and field experiments; geospatial analysis; and statistical modeling.
I am a committed educator, have taught a variety of university courses, and have been recognized for a teaching style that promotes a diverse, empowering learning environment.
In the policy arena, I currently am working with DFID to evaluate a mulit-year gender initiative in Nigeria. I also have consulted for UNICEF on social norms measurement. Other relevant experience includes work at Amnesty International and with NGOs in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Data Analysis Seminar, University of Cape Town
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(with Emeka Nwankwo)
An in-depth report on measuring social norm change in Nigeria. It is one of the first examples globally of how to use large-n survey data to identify the existence of social norms and possible behavioral tipping points within a society.
(with Gerry Mackie, Francesca Moneti, and Holly Shakya)
A primer on social norms theory that presents both qualitative and quantitative tools for tracking social norms. The paper has been accessed over 13,000 times and is a common resource for UNICEF staff and international development professionals globally.
It is Trump's “losing” language that could be the key to his success to date. My research shows that making people, and especially Republicans, think about losses motivates them to take political action.
In El Salvador, homicide rates are higher than in almost every other country in the world. Last year, more than 68,000 unaccompanied children crossed into the US, trying to escape violence Central America. Now, Mexican authorities and US border agents are attempting to stem the northward flow of people fleeing the violence.