Past Events

January 15, 2014






January 13, 2014

We argue that individuals have general responsibility attribution heuristics that apply to collective decisions made, for example, by families, teams within fi rms, boards in international organisations or coalition governments. We conduct laboratory and online survey experiments designed to tease out the heuristics subjects use in their responsibility attribution for collective decision makers.

January 8, 2014

In experimental and observational survey research, partisans tend to express a preference for politically like-minded neighbors, and to prefer neighborhood traits correlated with party. Yet observational studies searching for the existence of partisan residential sorting have yielded mixed results.

January 6, 2014

North/Wallis/Weingast (2009) define the problem of development as the transition from natural state to open access order and propose a theory of the natural state as a stable system. A small number of natural states develop by moving to "doorstep conditions" and then into the transition proper that led to open access orders in a few modern states. NWW’s focus on early modern Europe gives the impression that the transition happened only once in human history and leaves the theory vulnerable to confounding variables of modernity, such as the industrial revolution, technological change, or colonialism. If the conditions predicted by the theory produced a similar result prior to modernity, the theory's robustness is supported.

December 9, 2013

The failure to align the incentives of self-interested groups in favor of beneficial reform is often seen as a major cause of persistent underdevelopment around the world. However, much less is known about strategies that have been successful at overcoming such political economy challenges. One approach that holds much promise, and in fact appears to have had some historical success, is the provision of financial assets that align the interests of winners and potential losers from reform by providing claims on the future.

December 6, 2013

Professor Williams teaches the history of political thought, contemporary democratic theory, feminist theory, multiculturalism, and American political thought.

December 6, 2013





Ben is a second-year Ph.D. student interested in nuclear weapons and interstate conflict, ethics and warfare, and deterrence theory.  Before coming to Stanford, he received a BA in International Relations and Economics from the College of William  and Mary.


December 3, 2013