Generalized or Parochial Altruism? Evidence from a Nationwide Lost-Letter Experiment”, under review.

ABSTRACT: What explains variation in levels of prosocial behavior across communities? And what is the relationship between ingroup and outgroup prosociality? According to theories of generalized altruism, market integration …

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Strangers in Hostile Lands: Exposure to Refugees and Right-wing Support” (with M. Schaub and J. Gereke)

ABSTRACT:  Does local exposure to refugees affect right-wing support and anti-immigrant sentiments? This paper studies the allocation of refugees to the rural hinterlands of Eastern Germany during the refugee crisis of 2015. Similar to non-urban regions elsewhere, the area has seen a major shift towards the political right, despite minimal previous exposure to foreigners. We draw on electoral records and original data collected among 1,320 German citizens from 236 municipalities, half of which received refugees. Two conditions allow for causal identification: a policy allocating refugees following strict administrative rules, and a matching procedure rendering treated and control municipalities statistically indistinguishable. Our survey and behavioral measures confirm the presence of widespread anti-immigrant sentiments, but these are entirely unaffected by the presence of refugees in respondents’ hometowns. If anything,local exposure to refugees served as a ‘reality check’, pulling both right- and left-leaningindividuals more towards the center.

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[2019] “Was There a Culture War? Partisan Polarization and Secular Trends in U.S. Public Opinion”, Journal of Politics, forthcoming. (with B. Park)


ABSTRACT: According to many scholars of public opinion, most of the fast-growing divide between Democrats and Republicans over the last few decades has taken place on moral issues. …

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2018 “Keeping One’s Distance: Truth and Ambiguity in Social Research” Sociologica, 1/2018: 5-11.

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2018 “Ethnic diversity, poverty and social trust in Germany: Evidence from a behavioral measure of trust”, PLOS ONE, 13(7). (with J. Gereke and M. Schaub)

ABSTRACT: Several scholars have concluded that ethnic diversity has negative consequences for social trust. However, recent research has called into question whether ethnic diversity per se has detrimental effects …

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2017 “Field Experiments Across the Social Sciences” Annual Review of Sociology, 43:41-73(with M. Abascal)


ABSTRACT: Using field experiments, scholars can identify causal effects via randomization while studying individuals and groups in their naturally occurring contexts…

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2017 " 'It could turn ugly': Selective Disclosure of Political Views and Biased Network Perception,” Social Networks, 52:1-17 [lead article]. (with S. Cowan).

ABSTRACT: This article documents individuals selectively disposing their political attitudes and the consequences of these communication patters for social influence...

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2015 “Cooperative Networks: Altruism, Group Solidarity, Reciprocity, and Sanctioning in Ugandan Farmer Organizations,” American Journal of Sociology, 121(2): 355-395. [lead article]

Roger V. Gould Prize from the American Journal of Sociology

Mark Granovetter Prize for the Best Article from theEconomic Sociology section of the ASA


ABSTRACT:  Repeated interaction and social networks are commonly considered viable solutions to collective action problems. ...

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2015 “Love thy Neighbor? Ethnoracial Diversity and Trust Reexamined”American Journal of Sociology, 121(3): 722-782. (with M. Abascal).

ABSTRACT: According to recent research, ethnoracial diversity has negative consequences for trust and social capital. This paper challenges the recent preoccupation with diversity...     

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2014 "Heuristics, Interactions, and Status Hierarchies: An Agent-based Model of Deference Exchange,Sociological Methodology and Research 1-59 (with G. Manzo).

ABSTRACT: Status hierarchies have the characteristic of being increasingly asymmetric distributions that, however, never turn into winner-take-all structures. ...

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2014 “Neither Ideologues, nor Agnostics: Alternative Voters’ Belief System in an Age of Partisan Politics,”  American Journal of Sociology, 120(1): 45-95 (with A. Goldberg).


ABSTRACT: How do Americans understand politics? This paper argues that party polarization and the growing prominence of moral issues in recent decades have catalyzed different responses by different groups of Americans. ...

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2013 “The Effect of Group Attachment and Social Position on Prosocial Behavior. Evidence from Lab-in-the-Field Experiments,” PLoS ONE, 8(3),  (with G. Grossman).

ABSTRACT: Social life is regulated by norms of fairness that constraint selfish behavior. While a large scholarship on prosocial behavior has provided evidence of such norms of fairness, large inter- and intra-personal variations in prosocial behavior still need to be explained. ...   

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2012 “The Impact of Elections on Cooperation: Evidence from a Lab in the Field Experiment in Uganda,” American Journal of Political Science, 56(4): 964-985 (with Guy Grossman)

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ABSTRACT: Communities often rely on sanctioning to induce public goods contributions. Past studies focus on how external agencies or peer sanctioning induce cooperation. ...

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2011 “Centralized Sanctioning and Legitimate Authority Promote Cooperation in Humans", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(27): 11023-11027 (with Guy Grossman)

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ABSTRACT: Social sanctioning is widely considered a successful strategy to promote cooperation among humans. In situations in which individual and collective interests are at odds, incentives to free-ride induce individuals to refrain from contributing to public goods provision. ...

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2011 “Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Difference: A Multi-method Analysis of LGBT Marches on Washington,” American Sociological Review, 76: 179-206. [lead article] (with Amin Ghaziani) 

Outstanding Article Award from the Collective Behavior and Social Movements section of the ASA. 

Honorable mention for the Clifford   Geertz Prize from the Cultural   Sociology section of the ASA.


ABSTRACT: Social scientists describe culture as either coherent or incoherent and political dissent as either unifying or divisive. This article moves beyond such dichotomies. Content, historical, and network analyses of public debates on how to organize four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Washington marches provide evidence for an integrative position. ...

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2011 “Partisan Joiners: Associational Membership and Political Polarization in America (1974-2004),” Social Science Quarterly, 92(3): 631-655. 

Outstanding Academic Publication on Membership Organizations Award of the ASAE Foundation

ABSTRACT: Associational life may foster political integration or amplify division, depending on how individuals partition themselves into groups and whether their multiple affiliations embed them into concentric or cross-cutting social circles. ...

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2009 “Collective Action” in P. Hedström and P. Bearman (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology.

ABSTRACT: The chapter outlines new directions for future research on formal models of collective action. ...

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2008 “Partisans Without Constraint: Political Polarization and Trends in American Public Opinion,” American Journal of Sociology, 114(2): 408-46 (with A. Gelman).

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ABSTRACT: Public opinion polarization is here conceived as a process of alignment along multiple lines of potential disagreement and measured as growing constraint in individuals’ preferences. ...

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2007 “The Integrative Power of Civic Networks,” American Journal of Sociology, 113(3): 735-80 (with M. Diani).

ABSTRACT: This article analyzes integrative dynamics within civil society by looking at civic networks—the web of collaborative ties between participatory associations acting on behalf of public and collective interests. ...

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2007 “Dynamics of Political Polarization,” American Sociological Review, 72: 784-811 (with P. Bearman). 

Outstanding Article Award from the Mathematical Sociology section of the ASA.


ABSTRACT: This article accounts for two puzzling paradoxes. The first paradox is the simultaneous absence and presence of attitude polarization—the fact that global attitude polarization is relatively rare, even though pundits describe it as common. ...

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2006 “Voter Heuristics and Political Cognition in Italy: An Empirical Typology”, Electoral Studies, 25: 448-466 (with H.M.A. Schadee).

ABSTRACT: Within a framework of reasoning voters who use various cognitive shortcuts –heuristics– to arrive at decision, we classify Italian voters on the basis of the information they possess, how information and judgment are organized and whether preferences match actual vote. ...

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2005 “Oltre il free rider: l’utilizzo di modelli formali nello studio dell’azione collettiva,” Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 40,1: 125-156. En. title: “Beyond Free Riding: On the Use of Formal Models for the Study of Collective Action.”

ABSTRACT: Since Olson’s The Logic of Collective Action appeared, several formal models of collective action have been proposed. ...

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2004 “Il fascino della coalizione. Come e perche' le alleanze elettorali influenzano il modo in cui gli elettori interpretano la politica,” Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, 34, 2: 249-276 (with H.M.A. Schadee). En. title: “The Appeal of Coalitions: How and Why Electoral Alliances Affect Voters’ Political Understanding.”

ABSTRACT: Changes in the electoral and party system at the beginning of the ’90s had several effects on the attitudes and behavior of ordinary Italian citizens. ...

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2003 “Il voto ideologico esiste? L’utilizzo delle categorie di sinistra e destra nell’elettorato italiano”, Quaderni dell’Osservatorio Elettorale, 49: 5-34. En. title: “Does the Ideological Voter Exist?: The Use of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ by Italian Voters.”

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