I am a PhD candidate in political science at Duke University and expect to defend my dissertation in early fall 2014. During the 2014/2015 academic year, I am a fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.
My main research focus lies in the political economy of taxation and public spending. In addition, I am interested in the political geography of conflict as well as Bayesian and spatial statistics.
In my dissertation, I investigate the circumstances under which authoritarian elites invest in fiscal capacity. I argue that complimentarity between elite owned capital and government investment can lead to a demand to increase taxation. On the other hand, inequality raises redistributive pressures. In cases of high inequality, low capacity can be used to constrain taxation and redistribution in the future. In the first chapter of my dissertation, I develop an agent based model to develop the theoretical argument more clearly. In the empirical chapters, I investigate the theory using data on authoritarian governments in the post WWII era as well as newly collected data on tax revenue in Prussian counties in the 19th century.
In addition to my own work, I am a collaborator at Duke University’s CRISP (Crisis Prediction Early Warning System). More information about CRISP can be found here.