Jonathan Woon

Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science
Faculty, Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Lab
University of Pittsburgh

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4814 WW Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Ph: (412) 648-7266
Fax: (412) 648-7277
My research examines how strategic incentives arising from political power and asymmetric information influence representation and policy outcomes. I use laboratory experiments to investigate fundamental questions about the nature of democratic accountability and use observational data to conduct novel tests of theories of political parties and legislative behavior.  

With respect to democratic accountability, my work has shown the substantial effects of electoral delegation on the provision of collective goods and a strong behavioral tendency of voters to reward or punish politicians for performance, even when they have incentives to base their decisions on other factors. In the field of congressional politics, my work has contributed to our understanding of the way in which members of Congress introduce and position legislation, why it sometimes takes Congress a long time to complete appropriations bills, and how the reputations of political parties evolve and affect congressional elections.

Current projects include NSF-funded experiments (with Kristin Kanthak, Pittsburgh) that explore behavioral differences between men and women in their decisions to run for office, experiments (with William Minozzi, OSU) investigating how competition affects strategic communication between informed experts and less-informed decision-makers, and the analysis of survey data to understand heterogeneity in and the evolution of the public's perceptions of political parties.

updated November 1, 2012