Associated Faculty (Columbia)

Macartan Humphreys (Director)
Macartan is associate professor of political science and the director of CSDS. Macartan works on the political economy of development and formal political theory. Ongoing research focuses on civil wars, post conflict development, ethnic politics, natural resource management, political authority and leadership and democratic development. He uses a variety of methods including survey work, lab experimentation, field experimentation, econometric analysis, game theoretic analysis and classical qualitative methods. He has conducted field research in Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Uganda and elsewhere. A new series of projects underway examines democratic decision making in post conflict and developing areas.

Andrew Gelman
Andrew is professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University. He has received the Outstanding Statistical Application award from the American Statistical Association, the award for best article published in the American Political Science Review, and the Council of Presidents of Statistical Societies award for outstanding contributions by a person under the age of 40. Andrew has done research on a wide range of topics, including: why it is rational to vote; why campaign polls are so variable when elections are so predictable; why redistricting is good for democracy; reversals of death sentences; police stops in New York City, the statistical challenges of estimating small effects; the probability that your vote will be decisive; seats and votes in Congress; social network structure; arsenic in Bangladesh; radon in your basement; toxicology; medical imaging; and methods in surveys, experimental design, statistical inference, computation, and graphics.

Shigeo Hirano
Shigeo received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His research interests include comparative politics, American political development, political methodology, applied microeconomics, political economy and Japanese politics. Prior to moving to Columbia University in 2005, Professor Hirano as on the faculty at New York University and spent a year as a visiting researcher at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Princeton University and the Center for the Study of American Politics at Yale University.

Kimuli Kasara
Kimuli is assistant professor of political science. Her dissertation research focused on ethnic politics in Africa and on African political economy. Her current work concerns colonialism in East Africa, communal violence and political parties. Her recent published work includes the articles Tax Me If You Can: Ethnic Geography, Democracy, and the Taxation of Agriculture in Africa and Ethnic Minority Rule and Civil War Onset for the American Political Science Review.

Vijay Modi
Vijay is professor and chair of Mechanical Engineering. He leads the UN Millennium Project efforts on “Energy Services to meet the MDGs” and is involved with the Earth Institute efforts on energy and rural infrastructure. His current research projects include: energy services and infrastructure planning in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, low-cost lighting systems design, infrastructure priorities for economic and social development, use of spatial data in energy technology choices, and energy technologies for decentralized applications. His past energy related work encompasses thermal power plants, gas turbines, solar energy resource assessment, wind speed measurement and sensing and design of environmental systems for energy and paper industry. Prof. Modi is a dedicated teacher. He won the inaugural Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 1996 and also the Greater Teacher Award in 1997 from the Society of Columbia Graduates.

Vicky Murillo
Vicky is professor of political science at Columbia University. Her research on distributive politics in Latin America has covered labor politics and labor regulations, public utility reform, education reform, and economic policy more generally. Vicky’s work on political parties analyzes both their coalitional and policy implications and their linkages with voters in new democracies–emphasizing the difference between programmatic and clientelistic strategies. Her empirical work is based on a variety of methods ranging from quantitative analysis of datasets built for all Latin American countries to qualitative field work in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela and survey and experiments in Argentina and Chile.

Cristian Pop-Eleches
Kiki is assistant professor of economics and international and public affairs. His primary research area is applied development and labor economics with particular interest in demographic issues. He teaches on economic development and microeconomics. His publications include “The Impact of an Abortion Ban on Socio-Economic Outcomes of Children: Evidence from Romania” and “The Supply of Birth Control Methods, Education and Fertility.” Major ongoing field experiments include studies of HIV/AIDS interventions in Kenya.

Joseph Stiglitz
Joe is professor of economics. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He also chairs the University of Manchester’s Brooks World Poverty Institute and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Johannes Urpelainen
Johannes is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. His research focuses on international cooperation and institutions, especially in the field of global environmental governance.

Affiliated Faculty outside Columbia

Ana Arjona (Northwestern)
Ana’s research interests include political violence, the foundations of political order, state building, and behavioral studies. Her current research projects investigate the causes and consequences of institutional change and individual agency in contexts of violence. Her dissertation, entitled “Social Order in Civil War”, proposes a theory to explain order and disorder in war zones, as well as the form order takes when it emerges. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Colombia, including a survey with ex-combatants and civilians (with Stathis Kalyvas), a survey of local communities, and in-depth case studies. She is currently researching individual and collective behavior in civil war, as well as the links between wartime and post-conflict dynamics. She is also co-editing a book on rebel governance (with Nelson Kasfir and Zachariah Mampilly).

Kate Baldwin (UFL)
Kate’s research examines the ability of voters to hold politicians accountable for poor performance in new democracies, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Her dissertation examined the effects of non-elected traditional leaders on the operation of democratic politics in Africa, drawing on experimental, quasi-experimental and survey-based research she has conducted in rural Zambia. Other ongoing projects include a downstream experiment that examines the impact of the activities of NGOs on the relationships between voters and their representatives in Ghana.

Guy Grossman (UPenn)
Guy applies a variety of methods, including Control Randomized Trials (CRT), Social Network Analysis, Behavioral Games and surveys to study the effectiveness of development-related programs. His research projects include an evaluation of a new model to increase access to savings and loans in remote areas (Uganda, Gates-Foundation); a study of variations in the success-rates of a rural development project designed to facilitate the creation of famer cooperatives (Uganda, USAID) and a comparative evaluation of new means to increase communication between MPs and constituents (Uganda, NDI).

Laura Paler (Pittsburgh)
Laura Paler focuses on the political economy of development, with a particular interest in the resource curse and conflict. Her research employs experiments and quasi-experiments, and original micro-level data. Laura’s dissertation examined the micro-logic of the resource curse using a randomized information campaign to investigate constraints on political participation in windfall economies (Blora, Indonesia – see video here for more information); and a quasi-experiment to investigate the impact of windfall size on group conflict (Aceh, Indonesia). Her other ongoing projects include an evaluation of a post-conflict community driven development program (Aceh, Indonesia); and a multi-level analysis of why individuals join fighting groups (Aceh, Indonesia).

Cyrus Samii (NYU)
Cyrus studies civil conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction. He specializes in surveys and program evaluation. His field projects are on economic deprivation and rebellion (Burundi); victimization and demands for justice (Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia); micro-impacts of peacekeeping (Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia); effects of violent conflict on community institutions (Nepal); and effectiveness of ex-combatant reintegration interventions (Burundi and Sri Lanka).

Postdoctoral Associates
Jiehua Chen
Jiehua is a postdoctoral fellow based at the Applied Statistics Center and in Vijay Modi’s research lab at Columbia University. She received her PhD in Statistics from Stanford University in 2008. Her research focuses on the development of statistical tools for random experiments, causal inference, and analyzing data with spatial and temporal information, such as remote sensing data, climate change problems. She is a primary investigator on the woodstove diffusion project.

Elisabeth King
Elisabeth (PhD, University of Toronto 2008) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Earth Institute, associated with the Department of Political Science and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). She works on issues at the intersection of development, conflict and peacebuilding in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent projects in Rwanda and Liberia focus on examining how presumed social goods – such as education and development – may also contribute to conflict. Elisabeth also teaches an undergraduate study-abroad course in Kenya on conflict and peacebuilding in Africa.


Graduate Fellows

Peter van der Windt

Peter is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University and a Graduate Fellow at Columbia’s multidisciplinary Program on International Development and Globalization (IGERT). Peter holds an MPhil in Political Science from Columbia and an MPhil in Economics from Tilburg University. His dissertation research examines local governance structure and public good underprovision in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to his dissertational research Peter is working on a study of a major community driven development program in Eastern Congo and on a project that tries to develop new measures of conflict events using cell phone technologies in South Kivu.