I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.  My main research interests are in Comparative Politics, Political Economy and Political Behavior. My research aims to understand  understand how some societies manage to achieve and sustain the civic  "good life" - i.e. people pay their taxes, few individuals offer or demand bribes, citizens trust their compatriots to be honest and law abiding - while other societies are mired in corruption and political malfunction. I believe that in order to explain this variation, we must examine the interaction between institutions, public policies and social norms.

Take the example of tax evasion: we know that civic or "prosocial" behavior in this area can often not be explained by material incentives alone, but rather reflects prevailing normative beliefs and intrinsic motivations to "do the right thing."  Using a variety of empirical methods including laboratory and natural experiments, I try to understand the role of public policies, political actors and institutions (i.e., the state) in shaping citizens' normative values and beliefs.  You can read more about my research here.

Prior to joining the Max Planck Institute, I was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute. I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University (2014), a J.D. from Stanford Law School (2011), and a double B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2006).