research







Publications


Judging Prosecutors: Public Support for Prosecutorial Discretion (with Michael Nelson). 2022. Research & Politics.
Replication code.

Abstract Prosecutors have immense discretion to determine which offenses to charge, which cases to take to trial, and which sentences to recommend. Yet, even though many of the prosecutors who exercise this discretion over important crimes must face the electorate to keep their jobs, we know little about how the use of this discretion affects prosecutors’ electoral fortunes. Drawing on two experiments embedded in a nationally representative survey, we demonstrate that the public is more supportive of prosecutors who issue lenient sentences for low-level crimes. The results have important implications for criminal justice reform inasmuch as they provide a linkage between progressive prosecutorial behavior and respondents’ vote intentions.

One or the Other: How Asian Americans Prioritize Ethnic and Panethnic Identities
Second place, ICPSR Research Paper Competition, 2021
Abstract Asian Americans share in multiple identities including panethnicity and ethnicity. Why might we play up our ethnic identities in one context and our panethnic identities in another? I test the presence of two models of ethnic-panethnic identity prioritization over a large sample of Asian Americans and find significant relationships between socioeconomics, ethnicity, and discrimination and panethnic identity prioritization.

Evaluating Excuses: How the Public Judges Noncompliance (with Amanda Driscoll, Jay Krehbiel, and Michael Nelson). Journal of Behavioral Public Administration, forthcoming.
Abstract Public officials often make policy but delegate its implementation. Yet, for reasons ranging from intransigence to incompetence, those tasked with implementation may not faithfully implement policies. If implementors can frame noncompliance in a way that engenders sympathy, they may be able to disrupt the policymaking process with limited public backlash. We examine if the public's willingness to excuse noncompliance varies with the implementing actor's stated rationale for its failing to carry out the policy. Drawing on a survey experiment fielded in Germany, we find that the public is more sympathetic to resource-based, rather than principled, justifications for noncompliance, though the size of the effect is small. Further, contrary to fears that the pandemic would decay democratic functioning by leading citizens to be more forgiving of emergency-based inaction, we find no evidence that the public is more accepting of noncompliance justified on the base of the pandemic.

Course Papers


Racializing Redistribution: Linking Race to Economic Policy between 2016 and 2020, SOC 400W (Senior Research Seminar)
Abstract Using the 2016-2020 General Social Survey panel, I find that racial resentment has become a more salient predictor of support for redistribution after the 2020 protests against racist state violence, but that support increased more among the least resentful than it decreased among the most.

Speech in Supreme Court Cases, PLSC 497 (Text as Data). Replication code.

Abstract I derive a sentiment model for Supreme Court justice tone towards the executive branch in opinion text to examine how polarized SCOTUS justices’ language has become, over time, when writing in cases involving an out-partisan executive.

Works in Progress


Measuring Punitiveness: A New Scale of Attitudes Towards Punishment (with Michael Nelson).
Queer AAPI Linked Fate and Political Participation (with Ray Block Jr.)
Progressive Persuasion: Prosecutors and Public Opinion