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Workers and Welfare in Latin America: Mexico in Historical and Comparative Perspective, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pitt Latin American Series.
Visit the book page to download Chapter 1 and the contents.

Selected Published (or Forthcoming) Papers

Gendered Citation Patterns across Political Science and Social Science Methodology Fields, with Jane Lawrence Sumner and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell. Political Analysis, forthcoming. Supplemental materials & Replication data.

Accumulated evidence identifies discernible gender gaps across many dimensions of professional academic careers including salaries, publication rates, journal placement, career progress, and academic service. Recent work in political science also reveals gender gaps in citations, with articles written by men citing work by other male scholars more often than work by female scholars. This study estimates the gender gap in citations across political science subfields and across methodological subfields within political science, sociology, and economics. The research design captures variance across research areas in terms of the underlying distribution of female scholars. We expect that subfields within political science and social science disciplines with more women will have smaller gender citation gaps, a reduction of the “Matthew effect” where men’s research is viewed as the most central and important in a field. However, gender citation gaps may persist if a “Matilda effect” occurs whereby women’s research is viewed as less important or their ideas are attributed to male scholars, even as a field becomes more diverse. Analyzing all articles published from 2007-2016 in several journals, we find that female scholars are significantly more likely than mixed gender or male author teams to cite research by their female peers, but that these citation rates vary depending on the overall distribution of women in their field. More gender diverse subfields and disciplines produce smaller gender citation gaps, consistent with a reduction in the “Matthew effect”. However, we also observe under-citation of work by women, even in journals that publish mostly female authors. While improvements in gender diversity in academia increase the visibility and impact of scholarly work by women, implicit biases in citation practices in the social sciences persist.

New Media and Support for Same-Sex Marriage, with Jordi Díez. Latin American Research Review, forthcoming 53, 3, 2018. Replication data.

Research in advanced industrialized democracies on social attitudes toward same-sex marriage suggests that intergroup social contact and positive media coverage play an important role in promoting tolerance and support for same-sex marriage. Using AmericasBarometer survey data for 18 countries in 2010, 2012, and 2014, this article examines the ways in which individual-level Internet use interacts with news exposure, country-level quality of democracy, Internet penetration and their association with support for same-sex marriage. The results suggest that not only is Internet use associated with greater support for same-sex marriage, but that among those that both use the Internet and pay attention to the news more, the positive effects are amplified. In addition, national level of democracy, economic development, and Internet use are also associated with overall higher probabilities of supporting same-sex marriage. We find that Internet use has a strong positive association with the probability of supporting same-sex marriage as the percentage of the national population on the Internet increases. These findings extend our understanding of social and political tolerance of same-sex marriage in Latin America.

Democratic Values, Religiosity, and Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Latin America, with Jordi Díez. Latin American Politics and Society (abstract), 59, 4 (Winter), 2017. doi:10.1111/laps.12034 Supplemental Materials & Replication data

Latin America has been at the forefront of the expansion of rights for same-sex couples. Proponents of same-sex marriage frame the issue as related to human rights and democratic deepening; opponents emphasize morality tied to religious values. Elite framing shapes public opinion when frames resonate with individuals’ values and the frame source is deemed credible. Using surveys in 18 Latin American countries in 2010 and 2012, this article demonstrates that democratic values are associated with support for same-sex marriage while religiosity reduces support, particularly among strong democrats. The tension between democratic and religious values is particularly salient for women, people who live outside the capital city, and people who came of age during or before democratization.

Indigenous Futures: Research Sovereignty in a Changing Social Science Landscape, with Chelsea Gabel, Claudia Diaz Rios, and Kelsey Leonard. 2017. Knowledge Synthesis Report. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University. Project website

The issuance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada report provides an opportunity and clear need to reaffirm the right of Indigenous communities to be equal partners and leaders in research within their communities. Similarly, Indigenous communities have articulated the principles and policies that should guide research within their communities as well as the ways in which social science methods, including statistical approaches, can be harnessed to promote self-determination among Indigenous communities. Meanwhile, social science research is becoming increasingly technical, often using complex research designs and highly technical methodological approaches, including specialized quantitative analyses of experimental and observational data. Institutional, organizational and human resources are required to support Indigenous Peoples in their development of capacity to critique, participate in and lead social science research in their communities. Without these types of resources, Indigenous perspectives are at risk of being ignored or undervalued, particularly in instances of evidence-based policy making.

Planning for the Future: Methodology Training in Canadian Universities, with Laura B. Stephenson. Canadian Journal of Political Science (abstract), 50 (March), 2017. doi:10.1017/S0008423917000063

Recent changes in government policy making and the labour market have created new opportunities for political scientists, provided that we have the skills to respond to them. We argue that changes need to be made in the area of methodology training in order to capitalize on these opportunities. Canadian political scientists should ensure that all our students acquire basic quantitative competencies, in addition to research design and qualitative analysis training, and that those graduate students interested in more sophisticated quantitative methods have the opportunity to develop those skills. We explain how expanding and deepening training in quantitative methods is one strategy for ensuring a role for political science in evidence-based policy making, for expanding labour market options for students, and for keeping apace with disciplinary trends. We caution, however, that special care needs to be taken to ensure that all political scientists have equal opportunities to develop such skills.

Exchanging and using research evidence in health policy networks: a statistical network analysis, with Jessica C Shearer and John N Lavis. Implementation Science, 9:126, 2014. doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0126-8

An Effort to Increase Women’s Participation: The Visions in Methodology Initiative. The Political Methodologist, 21:2, Spring 2014.

Economic development, income inequality and preferences for redistribution, with Vicki Birchfield. International Studies Quarterly (abstract), 54 (June), 2010. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2478.2010.00589.x Replication data

Adopting a cross-regional and global perspective, this article critically evaluates one of the core assertions of political economy approaches to welfare—that support for redistribution is inversely related to income. We hypothesize that economic self-interest gives way to more uniform support for redistribution in the interest of ensuring that basic or relative needs are met in less developed and highly unequal societies. To test this hypothesis, we analyze individual-level surveys combined with country-level indicators for more than 50 countries between 1984 and 2004. Our analysis shows that individual-level income does not systematically explain support for redistribution in countries with low levels of economic development or high levels of income inequality. These findings challenge the universality of the assumption of economic self-interest in shaping preferences for redistribution that has been so pervasive in the literature.

Blogging in the Political Science Classroom, with Christopher N. Lawrence. PS: Political Science & Politics, 43, 1 (January), 2010. doi:10.1017/S1049096510990732

Weblogs (or blogs), as a form of communication on the Internet, have recently risen in prominence but may be poorly understood by both faculty and students. This article explains how blogs differ from other online communication tools and how political science faculty can make use of blogs in their classes. The focus is on using blogs as part of class assignments to reinforce important skills, including critical thinking, political engagement, and essay writing. We also discuss existing academic and professional blogs that may be models for student blogging in political science.

Globalization, democracy, and Mexican welfare, 1988-2006, Comparative Politics (abstract), 42, 1 (October), 2009. doi:10.5129/001041509X12911362972836

Since the 1980s, Mexico transformed its social protection system through the partial retrenchment of contributory social insurance and the expansion of non-contributory social assistance. By comparing both social insurance and social assistance policies under presidents Salinas (1988-94), Zedillo (1994-2000), and Fox (2000-6), this article explains these apparently contradictory patterns of welfare change. Economic and political liberalization created pressure for policy change and shifted the political capacity of domestic political actors, while existing welfare institutions shaped the politics of welfare. As a result, new social assistance institutions were layered alongside reformed social insurance institutions, which reflected recent changes in the economic and political context.

All-knowing or all-nurturing? Student expectations, gender roles, and practical suggestions for women in the classroom, PS: Political Science & Politics (abstract), 41, 4 (October), 2008. doi:10.1017/S1049096508081110

Student evaluations of teaching (SETs) often have important effects on promotion, tenure, and merit raises, even if only through the negative effects that poor evaluations can have on these decisions (Langbein 1994). SETs can be affected by student characteristics (class, GPA, major, expected grade, gender), class characteristics (size, required, discipline, quantitative), and professor characteristics (age, gender, race, ethnicity, personality traits). Both experiments and analysis of end-of-semester SETs in a range of disciplines and institutional settings have been used to examine the effects of each of these characteristics and the interactions among them to understand the factors that produce higher SETs.

See also follow-up Letter to the Editor and Reply. PS (abstract) 42, 1: 1. doi:10.1017/S1049096509090209

Retrenchment, expansion, and the transformation of Mexican social protection policies, Social Policy & Administration (abstract), 42, 4, August 2008. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9515.2008.00613.x

Social protection policies in Mexico have been transformed since 1988 through partial retrenchment of social insurance and significant expansion of targeted or means-tested social assistance. These changes reflect a substantial re-definition of social protection through incremental changes in policy. The changes reflect the abandonment of the goal of developing an employment-based, universal welfare regime, which had been pursued by Mexican governments as late as the 1970s. Instead, recent administrations have moved toward the redefinition of Mexico’s welfare regime into a residual, mean-tested model with significant private provision of benefits and services. This shift in social protection is consistent with the change in Mexico’s overall economic development strategy and increasing political competition in the process of democratization.

Eradication Efforts, the State, Displacement and Poverty: Explaining Coca Cultivation in Colombia during Plan Colombia, with Catherine Russler (graduate student), Journal of Latin American Studies (abstract), 40, 3, August 2008. doi:10.1017/S0022216X08004380 Replication data

This study models the sub-national pattern of coca cultivation in Colombia following the implementation of Plan Colombia (2001–2005). The results suggest that aerial eradication reduces coca cultivation primarily through creation of significant displacement and that coca cultivation is less intense in areas with a significant state presence. Further, coca cultivation appears to be more common in less developed, agricultural regions where access to legal markets precludes other forms of agriculture. Poverty has a significant, non-linear effect on coca cultivation; cultivation is most intense in regions of moderate poverty. Based on the findings, efforts to reduce coca cultivation should emphasise developing local public infrastructure and market access in conjunction with poverty reduction efforts and investment in alternative development.

International organizations and social insurance in Mexico, Global Social Policy (abstract), April 2008. doi:10.1177/1468018107086086

How do international organizations (IOs) influence domestic social policy? This article answers this question using a comparison of IO participation in the social insurance policy making process in Mexico in the 1940s and 1990s. There are similarities and differences between the periods. During both periods, IOs contributed technical expertise to the policy design process. The principal IO participating in policy discussions and the means of influence differed in the 1990s from the 1940s. The comparison suggests that IOs use both hard and soft power resources to influence domestic social policy.

Pension Reform and Gender Inequality, In Lessons from Pension Reform in the Americas, Stephen Kay and Tapen Sinha, eds. Oxford University Press, 2008. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226801.003.0006

This chapter examines an effect of pension reform that was largely unanticipated, or at least seldom explicitly considered, when many pension reforms were being adopted throughout Latin America: the effects of privatization on women’s welfare. First, it provides a brief overview of the sources of gender inequalities and discusses elements of pension policy affecting gendered welfare. Second, it explains and critiques the insurance-based criteria for evaluating the gender effects of pension reform. Third, it offers an alternative set of criteria for evaluating gender outcomes based on three dimensions: women’s ability to claim social citizenship rights, gender stratification, and the distribution of welfare responsibility among the market, state, and family. Finally, it compares interpretations of the gendered effects of pension reform in Latin America based on insurance and distributive assumptions to illustrate why disagreements in the literature persist.

Poverty, Inequality, Policy and Politics in Latin America. Book review essay. Latin American Research Review, 42, 1 (February) 2007. doi:10.1353/lar.2007.0007

Women’s welfare and social security privatization in Mexico, Social Politics, 13, 3, 2006. doi:10.1093/sp/jxl001

Several Latin American countries have fully or partially privatized their public pensions since the 1980s. In 1995 Mexico privatized its public pension system, including a shift from a defined benefit to defined contribution system based on privately administered individual accounts. This article uses feminist criteria to evaluate the gender impact of welfare regimes and concludes that the Mexican pension privatization will have a negative effect on women’s welfare in old age.

Globalización, democratización and reforma del sistema de seguridad social en México, 1988-2005. Foro Internacional, 183, XLVI 2006, 1.

En este trabajo se explicarán los cambios ocurridos en el campo de la seguridad social mexicana desde 1988, destacando el impacto que han tenido la globalización y la democratización en cuanto a los resultados de la reforma en dicho ámbito. Al comparar esos resultados con los casos de iniciativas fallidas de reforma en los gobiernos de Salinas (1988-1994), Zedillo (1994-2000) y Fox (2000-2006), mostraremos que la globalización ha hecho apremiante la reforma, pero que los poderosos sindicatos de los sectores de bienes no comerciables y el incremento de la competencia política han sido determinantes en los resultados obtenidos de la reforma.

See also cited interviews (front page of El Norte and La Reforma online edition and business page of El Norte) on the 10th anniversary of the pension privatization.

Globalización, tipo de régimen político y gasto social en países de ingresos medios, 1980-1999. Política y Gobierno, 13, 1 (Semestre 1) 2006.

Discusiones recientes sugieren que la globalización económica puede arrastrar a los estados hacia una pérdida de autonomía decisoria o hacia un nuevo compromiso de distribuir beneficios sociales a sus ciudadanos. Los estudios comparados, sin embargo, sugieren que el tipo de régimen político es un factor determinante de la política social. Un análisis de gastos en educación, salud pública y protección social en una muestra de 39 países en desarrollo entre el año 1980 y 1999 demuestra que diversas dimensiones de la integración económica están asociadas con ajustes en el gasto social, los cuales están en parte mediados por el tipo de régimen político. La creciente integración comercial conduce a una mayor inversión en capital humano, especialmente en regímenes autoritarios, pero reduce gastos en la protección social en comparación con las democracias.

The political origins of social security in Mexico during the Cárdenas and Avila Camacho Administrations, Mexican Studies, Winter 2005. doi:10.1525/msem.2005.21.1.59

This study compares efforts to adopt social insurance legislation in the administrations of Láázaro Cáárdenas and Manuel ÁÁvila Camacho in Mexico to explain the political origins of the welfare state in Latin America. The author argues that the adoption and implementation of social insurance in Mexico was the outcome of an implicit bargain between organized labor and the state following the 1940 presidential election. This bargain signifies the rebuilding by the ÁÁvila Camacho administration of the cross-class coalition originally designed by President Cárdenas and jeopardized by the nationalization of petroleum and presidential succession struggles of the late 1930s.

La economia politica del gasto social: El Programa Nacional de Solidaridad, 1988-1994, Estudios Sociológicos, mayo-agosto, 2000. Replication data
Cited by José Luis Reyna, in June 2006 opinion piece in El Milenio.

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