Research

Working Papers

Populist Governments and Democratic Backsliding during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Did Populist Leaders Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic More Slowly? Evidence from a Global Sample


Published Papers

US Foreign Aid Restrictions, and Maternal and Children’s Health: Evidence from the “Mexico City Policy” in Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (co-authored with Valentina Rotondi)

This paper analyzes the link between foreign aid for family planning services and a broadset of health outcomes. More specifically, it documents the harmful effects of the so-called “Mexico City Policy” (MCP), which restricts US funding for nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion-related services abroad. First enacted in 1985, the MCP is implemented along partisan lines; it is enforced only when a Republicanadministration is in office and quickly rescinded when a Democrat wins the presidency. Although previous research has shown that MCP causes significant disruption to family planning programs worldwide, its consequences for health outcomes, such as mortality and HIV rates, remain underexplored. The independence of the MCP’s implementation from the situation in recipient countries allows us to systematically study its impact. Using country-level data from 134 countries between 1990 and 2015, we first show that the MCP is associated with higher maternal and child mortality and HIV incidence rates. These effects are magnified by dependence on US aid while mitigated by funds from non-US donors. Next, we complement these results using individual-level data from 30 low- and middle-income countries and show that, under the MCP, women have less access to modern contraception and are less exposed to information on family planning and AIDS via in-person channels. Moreover, pregnant women are more likely to report that their pregnancy is not desired. Our findings highlight the importance of mitigating the harmful effects of MCP by redesigning or counteracting this policy.

[Replication Materials]


Women’s Murders and the Interaction Between Gender (In)equality and Economic Development: A Subnational Analysis in Turkey in Journal of Interpersonal Violence

[Download Paper] [Replication Materials (including victim-level data)] [Bianet’in 2010-2017 Kadın Cinayetleri Listesi (Erkek Şiddeti Çetelesi)] [3-page summary] [3-sayfalık özet]


The Power to Hurt and the Effectiveness of International Sanctions in Journal of Politics (co-authored with Tyson J. Chatagnier and Emre Hatipoglu)

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Dangerous Contenders: Election Monitors, Islamic Opposition and Terrorism in International Organization (co-authored with Patrick M. Kuhn) 

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Domestic Politics and the Motives of Emerging Donors: Evidence from Turkish Foreign Aid in Political Research Quarterly

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Export Similarity and International Conflict in Journal of Conflict Resolution (co-authored with Tyson J. Chatagnier)

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