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Jonathan Rodden

Jonathan Rodden Headshot

Jonathan Rodden

Professor of Political Science
Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution
Ph.D., Yale University


Jonathan Rodden is a professor in the political science department at Stanford who works on the comparative political economy of institutions. He is currently working on a number of papers and a book about the geographic distribution of political preferences and partisanship in the United States and other countries around the world. One recent paper on political geography and representation was selected by the American Political Science Association as the winner of the Michael Wallerstein Award for the best paper in the field of political economy. This work has gotten him involved in contemporary debates and court cases related to redistricting, and a recent paper was awarded a prize by Common Cause.

He has also written a number of articles and books on federalism and fiscal decentralization. His book, Hamilton’s Paradox: The Promise and Peril of Fiscal Federalism, was the recipient of the Gregory Luebbert Prize for the best book in comparative politics in 2007. He frequently works with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on issues related to fiscal decentralization, and has recently been doing policy-oriented work on municipal bankruptcy and issues related to the architecture of the European Monetary Union. He has recently co-edited a book on decentralization and economic development around the world, and has been working on a collaborative project related to information technology and local governance in Uganda.

Other interests include legislative bargaining, the distribution of budgetary transfers across regions, and the historical origins of contemporary political institutions and political cleavages.

Rodden works with large administrative data sets, and is embarking on a new project focusing on handgun acquisition, as well as a new historical project using historical voter files and individual-level census data from California. Rodden works extensively with geo-spatial data, and is the founder and director of the Spatial Social Science Lab at Stanford.

Rodden received his PhD from Yale University and his BA from the University of Michigan, and was a Fulbright student at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2007, he was the Ford Associate Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.