ALEXANDER SAHN

I am a political scientist currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at
Princeton University.

Beginning in Fall 2022, I will be an Assistant Professor of Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill

My research seeks to understand and reduce inequality in American political economy.

 

My book project shows how the interaction of individual attitudes and institutions in local governments in the US lead to land use policies responsible for the housing affordability crisis.

My work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Political Behavior, and Political Analysis.

HEADSHOTS_ALEXANDER_64_5150_edited.jpg

RESEARCH

 

RACE AND REPRESENTATION IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE 2020. American Political Science Review (WITH JAKE GRUMBACH)

Campaign finance is more racially unequal than voter turnout or Congressional representation, but the nomination of candidates of color can close this gap.

Co-ethnic contributing behavior dominates co-gendered contributing with no evidence of intersectionality.

A large portion of observational studies would not meet statistical significance without undisclosed covariate adjustment.

Backlash to the Great Migration caused cities to adopt exclusionary zoning; today, the median large city allows apartments on only 12% of residential land.

FAUX-RESPONSIVENESS AND ELECTION CYCLES IN THE PERMITTING OF HOUSING

Cities permit less housing before elections when mayors are running for re-election, especially when homeowners dominate.

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LOBBYING IN PUBLIC MEETINGS: EVIDENCE FROM SAN FRANCISCO

Attendees of public meetings (older, whiter, homeowners) get the outcomes they want (slowing and blocking affordable housing).

Gain-loss framing has little effect on problems and policy solutions, which have bipartisan support.

RACE AND REPRESENTATION IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE 2020. American Political Science Review (with Jake Grumbach)

Campaign finance is more racially unequal than voter turnout or Congressional representation, but the nomination of candidates of color can close this gap.

Co-ethnic contributing behavior dominates co-gendered contributing with no evidence of intersectionality.

A large portion of observational studies would not meet statistical significance without undisclosed covariate adjustment.

Variation in exclusionary zoning can be explained as a policy reaction to racial threat among white voters intent to uphold segregation; today, the median large city allows apartments on only 12% of residential land.

PUBLIC COMMENT AND PUBLIC POLICY

Attendees of planning commission meetings (older, whiter, homeowners) turn out more, are motivated by spatial proximity, and comments in opposition are twice as likely as comments in support to correlate with project approval

FAUX-RESPONSIVENESS AND ELECTION CYCLES IN THE PERMITTING OF HOUSING

Cities permit less housing before elections when mayors are running for re-election, especially when homeowners dominate.

RACIAL THREAT, TERRITORIALITY, AND POLICE CALLS FOR SERVICE (with Amy Lerman and Alyssa Mooney) 

A substantial number of citizen-police interactions originate from calls for service, which increase as neighborhoods become whiter.

THE REPRESENTATIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF CIVIL SERVICE REFORM forthcoming at the American Political Science Review (with Nick Kuipers)

Municipal civil service reform helped, not hurt, previously underrepresented foreign-born whites obtain government jobs

PUBLIC OPINION ON POLICY SOLUTIONS: EVIDENCE ON EQUIVALENCE FRAMES (with Amy Lerman and Laura Stoker)

Equivalency frames affect the public's evaluation of social problems, but gain-loss framing does not impact evaluation of potential solutions.

Application of IRT to crowdsourced labelled data combined with deep learning improves measurement of hate speech on social media 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

TEACHING

PS1: Introduction to Political Science: Graduate Student Instructor for Paul Pierson (Spring 2017)
PS1: Introduction to Political Science: Graduate Student Instructor for Rob van Houweling (Fall 2017)

Applied methods workshops on R, data visualization, Qualtrics

MENTORSHIP

Berkeley D-Lab: Senior Data Science Fellow (2018-)
Student Mentoring and Research Teams: Mentor (2017)
Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program: Mentor (2017)

TUTORING

Political Science Graduate Methods Tutor (2016-)
Berkeley D-Lab Research Consultant (2017-)

CONTACT

236 Corwin Hall

Center for the Study of Democratic Politics

Princeton, NJ 08544

  • twitter