This position is part of The Center for the Study of American Politics (CSAP) Pre-Doctoral Fellows Program, which is affiliated with the Tobin Center/Economics Pre-Doctoral Fellows Program. The CSAP predoc program provides a high-quality education and training in quantitative political science research for individuals who are considering pursuing a Ph.D. in political science or a closely related discipline. CSAP predocs are invited to participate in all Tobin Center predoc activities. Information about the CSAP predoc program is available here:

CSAP Predoc: Markets and Democracy
Faculty Supervisor(s):

Kenneth Scheve

Project Description:

This project examines the consequences of economic concentration for the quality of democracy. Antitrust or competition law refers to a diverse body of legislation designed to ensure the competitiveness of markets. While antitrust legislation has clear economic objectives, it has historically also had political goals. From the inception of the antitrust legal tradition in the late nineteenth century United States to the present, there has been a strong undercurrent of legal thought that views antitrust as a bulwark against a potential threat of big business and economic concentration to democracy. The relative standing of the political and economic motivations for antitrust enforcement has fluctuated over time. This project investigates empirically the effect of economic concentration on the quality of democracy in the United States from 1870 to the present. The research will involve constructing original datasets measuring market concentration and quality of democracy at the state and local level over the time period of the study. The research will also involve learning and employing text data analysis to study evidence from digitized newspapers. Finally, the research will include compiling material for qualitative case study analysis.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Candidates with strong qualitative and/or quantitative skills are encouraged to apply. Willingness to develop both sets of skills is essential. 

Special Application Instructions: