[4] Do Men and Women Have Different Policy Preferences in Africa? Determinants and Implications of Gender Gaps in Policy Prioritization. (with Jessica Gottlieb, Amanda Lea Robinson)
British Journal of Political Science, 2018, 48(3): pp. 611-638. drawing drawing drawing drawing

Abstract Policies designed to increase women’s representation in Africa are often motivated by the assumption that men and women have different policy preferences. This article finds that gender differences in policy priorities are actually quite small on average, but vary significantly across policy domains and countries. The study leverages this variation to show that the economic and social empowerment of women influences the size of gender gaps in the prioritization of two important domains. In particular, women’s participation in the labor force – an indicator of economic empowerment – narrows the gender gap in the prioritization of infrastructure investment and access to clean water, while social vulnerability widens the gap on prioritizing infrastructure investment. Finally, the article shows that the places where women and men have the most divergent policy preferences – and thus where formal representation is most important – are precisely the places where women are currently the most poorly represented and least active in formal politics.

[3] Descriptive Representation and Judicial Outcomes in Multi-Ethnic Societies. (with Oren Gazal-Ayal, Samuel D. Pimentel, Jeremy M. Weinstein)
American Journal of Political Science, 2016, 60(1): pp. 44–69. drawing drawing drawing drawing

Abstract The extent to which judicial outcomes depend on judges' identities is a central question in multiethnic societies. Past work on the impact of the racial composition of appellate courts has narrowly focused on civil rights cases in the United States. We expand this literature by testing for ethnicity-based panel effects in criminal appeals in Israel. Using randomness in the assignment of cases to panels, we find that appeal outcomes for Jewish defendants are independent of panels' ethnic composition. By contrast, panel composition is highly consequential for Arab defendants, who receive more lenient punishments when their case is heard by a panel that includes at least one Arab judge, compared to all-Jewish panels. The magnitude of these effects is sizable: a 14–20% reduction in incarceration and a 15–26% reduction in prison sentencing. These findings contribute to recent debates on the relationship between descriptive representation and substantive outcomes in judicial bodies.

[2] Renewalist Christianity and the Political Saliency of LGBTs: Theory and Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.
* Journal of Politics*, 2015, 77(2): pp. 337-351. drawing drawing drawing drawing

Abstract One key political development in the past decade in many, but not all, countries across Africa has been the growing saliency of morality politics in general, and of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) politics in particular. I argue that the uneven upward trend in the political saliency of LGBTs is closely related to two recent political processes: (1) a rapid growth of Pentecostal, Evangelical, and related Renewalist or Spirit-filled churches (demand-side factor) and (2) a democratization process leading to heightened political competition (supply side). To evaluate the above proposition, I created an original, fine-grained longitudinal dataset of media coverage of LGBTs in Africa, which I use as a measure of issue saliency. Using a series of negative binomial regression models, I find robust evidence that the saliency of LGBTs increases with a country’s population share of Renewalist Christians and that this effect increases with rising levels of political competition.

[1] The Effect of Group Attachment and Social Position on Prosocial Behavior. Evidence from Lab-in-the-Field Experiments. (with Delia Baldassarri)
PLoS ONE, Year, 8(3): e58750. drawing drawing drawing

Abstract Social life is regulated by norms of fairness that constrain selfish behavior. While a substantial body of scholarship on prosocial behavior has provided evidence of such norms, large inter- and intra-personal variation in prosocial behavior still needs to be explained. The article identifies two social-structural dimensions along which people's generosity varies systematically: group attachment and social position. We conducted lab-in-the-field experiments involving 2,597 members of producer organizations in rural Uganda. Using different variants of the dictator game, we demonstrate that group attachment positively affects prosocial behavior, and that this effect is not simply the by-product of the degree of proximity between individuals. Second, we show that occupying a formal position in an organization or community leads to greater generosity toward in-group members. Taken together, our findings show that prosocial behavior is not an invariant social trait; rather, it varies according to individuals' relative position in the social structure.