Peer-Reviewed Publications

Julia Albarracin, Nathan Munier, and Kristin Bail. 2017. "Do Independent Women Participate in Demonstrations More? Empowerment and Politics in Predicting Activism Among Mexican Women." Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences.

The influence of Latinos on all aspects of the American political landscape has increased dramatically in recent years. However, research on political participation among Latinas has been scarce. This study examined the factors influencing participation in protests, a type of nonelectoral political behavior, among Mexican women. This research was based on surveys with 290 Mexican women from the Chicago area and explored the role of their levels of economic, social, and household empowerment in explaining participation in protests. After controlling for a number of demographic and political factors, it was found that women with higher levels of social and household empowerment were more likely to participate in protests. More specifically, women who did not need permission from their husbands to leave their house and those who had fewer domestic chores were more active in protests. 

Working Papers

"The Mitigating Effect of Diversity on Economic Voting: A Cross-National Multilevel Analysis" with Sarah Leffingwell.

Work on economic voting examines how individuals’ economic evaluations impact the likelihood of voting for the incumbent. However, many of these studies overlook the context surrounding these assessments, including the role of ethnicity in shaping political behavior. In this research note, we theorize that when social networks are formed along ethnic lines, high ethnic fractionalization will mitigate economic voting because voters will prioritize ethnic considerations over the economy. We test for mitigation of economic voting in the presence of ethnic fractionalization using survey data from the Americas, Latino, and Africa barometers, incorporating a measure of national ethnic fractionalization. We find evidence supporting our theoretical expectation that high levels of ethnic fractionalization will result in mitigated economic voting. Additionally, we find that this mitigation is strongest when the economy is perceived to be doing well, and that the diminishing effect weakens as the economy declines. 

Rethinking What Citizens “Know”: Civics Knowledge in African States

Previous scholarship in American politics has used correct responses to a battery of civics knowledge questions as a useful proxy for citizens’ latent abilities or attitudes. While providing clarity in how information correlates to engagement in a specific context, the knowledge domains captured in standard batteries are not easily translated into a comparative setting. Comparative scholars have long recognized that institutions, political norms, and identity interact to impact the differential utility of specific types of information across countries. In this paper I examine how differences in institutional design and issue salience affect the accumulation of civics knowledge, focusing on African states and their citizens specifically. Results of system-level analyses suggest that the type of electoral system and number of political parties affect civics knowledge accumulation, though in ways that differ from older democracies. Ordinary least squares and logistic regression results analyzing individual-level responses to Afrobarometer surveys additionally suggest that citizens in younger African states assess the utility of civics knowledge based on the desired political outcomes it helps them achieve.