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The Grapevine Effect in Sensitive Data Collection

In this project with Steve Finkel, Michael Neureiter, and Chris Belaso, we demonstrate that responses to sensitive survey questions regarding violent extremism shift in the direction of incumbent power interests over the course of a survey. The results suggest that researchers must be aware of potential social desirability bias not just among individuals, but also across surveyed communities over the course of data collection. Forthcoming in PSRM; please email for details.

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Political Borders as Sources of Exogenous Variation

Dan Posner and I demonstrate both the promise and the pitfalls of using political borders in Africa - typically delineated arbitrarily by Colonial powers - as sources of exogenous variation in exposure to political contexts. We provide a step-by-step guide for accounting for potential pre-treatment differences as well as post-treatment sorting. Paper published in PSRM and available here.

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