Some HPE job-market candidates!

Theodore Roosevelt's Time Card

It’s that time of year again! The academic job market has begun. Broadstreet is taking this opportunity to highlight some job market papers by scholars working in historical political economy. We did a call on Twitter to ask for submissions, and we have listed them in random order below. These papers feature micro-level data collection, archival research, and some truly fascinating cases. Please cite, promote, and hire these students!

This isn’t the full population of HPE candidates! We’ll plan on running another post with more candidates by 10/15. If you are a scholar on the job market working in HPE, or know someone who is, feel free to reach out to get added to the list. Good luck with the job applications! For inspiration, check out Teddy Roosevelt’s job application from 1915.


Flexible Law: The Impact of Legislative Resources on Policy Adoption

Elizabeth Dorssom, Department of Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia (Email:; Twitter: @EDorssom)

There have been four major eras in U.S. congressional history: the formative era (1790s-1820s); the partisan era (1830s-1900s); the committee era 1910s-1960s); and the contemporary era (1970s to present). Throughout each of these eras, the U.S. Congress underwent numerous changes that impacted its policy adoption, such as institutionalization, and the adoption of the standing committee system. While a lengthy literature exists describing the changes that occurred throughout Congress’ history, previous literature has not examined how these changes impacted Congress’ policy adoption. I undertake this investigation by examining the rate of sunset provision use across Congress’ history from 1789 to 2020. The history of Congress provides a good test case for the impact of these legislative resources on policy adoption as different reforms were adopted in each congressional era. Therefore, I examine the rate of sunset provision use across each era to determine how the uncertainty prior to the adoption of these reforms resulted in different rate of sunset provision use adoption. It is important to determine whether the adoption of standing committees and institutionalization impact the policy process to comprehend how such resources impact policy adoption in legislatures where these changes have yet to be adopted.

Do Enfranchised Immigrants Affect Politicians Behaviour?

Apurav Yash Bhatiya, Department of Economics, University of Warwick (Email:; Twitter: @apuravbhatiya)

This paper uses 3 million UK Parliament speeches and voting behaviour between 1972 and 2011 together with variation in pre-existing variation in the share of enfranchised immigrants to investigate how the immigrant’s political inclusion affect the politician’s behaviour towards immigrants. As a legacy of the British Empire, the immigrants in the UK from the Commonwealth member countries have a right to vote in all elections, while the remaining immigrants are disenfranchised. I find an increase in the share of enfranchised immigrants makes the incumbent spend more time in the parliament talking about immigrants, addressing immigrants with positive emotion, and voting to increase immigration restrictions. The enfranchised immigrants are more politically engaged that drives the incumbent’s parliament speeches, while restrictions for future immigration is in response to native’s preferences.

Government Policies and the Emergence of an Ethnic Dimension in Party Systems  

Maayan Mor, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institutions and Political Economy Research Group, University of Barcelona  (Email:; Twitter: @maajanmor)

Political entrepreneurs form ethnic parties where there is ethnic diversity but diversity is a weak predictor for the parties’ success. When does ethnicity become a major element of party competition? Scholars have explained the emergence of an ethnic dimension in party systems as the result of institutions, mass organizations, and elite initiatives. These factors, however, can evolve in response to an emerging ethnic coalition. I advance a new theory that ethnic cleavages emerge when voters seek to form a parliamentary opposition to government policies that create grievances along ethnic identities. I test the theory on rare cases of government policies in Prussia between 1848-1873 that aggrieved Catholics but were not based on existing policies or initiated instrumentally to encourage ethnic competition. I show through process-tracing and statistical analysis of electoral returns
that Catholics voted together when aggrieved by policies. In contrast, when policies were neutral to Catholics, the Catholic party dissolved.

Property Formation in Weak States: Theory and Evidence from Imperial Brazil

Jorge Mangonnet, Prize Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics, Nuffield College, University of Oxford (Email:; Twitter: @jmangonnet)

Local elites are assumed to resist state attempts at reforming property regimes out of fear of disempowerment. I propose a theory to explain why traditional authorities might support, and comply with, state-backed land tenure systems in contexts of limited administrative capacity. In the absence of restrictions on the customary use of land, I argue that a disruption to forced labor arrangements encourages elites to promote an exclusionary property order that invalidates workers’ claims, reduces mobility, and facilitates the transition to cheap wage labor. I test this theory in Imperial Brazil, where the end of the Atlantic slave trade led southeastern planters to support the Land Law of 1850. Using a novel hand-collected geocoded data set, I show that planters in parishes with more slaves voluntarily shifted their landholdings to freehold tenure to subsidize the arrival of poor immigrant workers. I also show that individual parliamentarians who were slaveowners voted favorably for the Land Law as it denied the possession claims of the rural poor. These findings reveal that property formation in weak states is the result of a co-production effort between local and central interests and not of unilateral state action.

The Origins of Common Language and Nations: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in France​ (with Masahiro Kubo).

Guillaume Blanc, Department of Economics, Brown University (Email:; Twitter: @gguillaumeblanc)

This paper studies the evolution of language and nation-building. We identify the institutional origins and consequences of the advent of common language during the emergence of nation-states in the nineteenth-century. In France, at the time of the French Revolution, only ten percent of the population spoke standard French—a dialect of langues d’oïl and only one of forty-six different languages spoken historically. Today, French is the first language to nearly all Frenchmen. We comprehensively document the process of homogenization in the course of nation-building by digitizing a novel, detailed town-level dataset on spoken language in France. Using a natural experiment, we show in a regression discontinuity framework that state-sponsored education brought about homogenization. We also find that local elites, fiscal capacity and state legitimacy, and returns to schooling were important drivers of homogenization; and we locate the geographical origins of standard French language. Finally, we document a persistent impact of nation-building on the salience of national identity and social interactions.

Burghers into Peasants: Political Economy of City Status in Congress Poland

Paweł Charasz, Department of Political Science, Duke University (Email:; Twitter: @PCharasz)

Throughout history, European towns were granted a ‘city’ status that transferred political power to burghers and democratized governance, driving urban development. I argue that institutions privileging urban at the expense of landed elites may generate better outcomes even in the absence of democracy and may actually outperform democracy if it leads to political control by landed elites. Using original town-level data, I draw on evidence from an 1869 reform in Congress Poland which deprived three-quarters of the 452 cities of their city status, giving political rights to landed but not urban elites. I show that degraded cities experienced a 64 percentage points slower population growth over the next 40 years. City status was associated with greater public goods provision and more effective judiciary in remaining cities, and contributed to a relative agrarianization of degraded cities. I discuss implications for our understanding of the role of inclusive institutions in promoting development.

Group Ties amid Industrial Change: Historical Evidence from the Fossil Fuel Industry

Noah Zucker, Department of Political Science, Columbia University (Email:; Twitter: @noahzucker)

Coethnics often work in the same industries. How does this ethnic clustering affect individuals’ political loyalties amid industrial growth and decline? Focusing on migrant groups, I contend that ethnic groups’ distribution across industries alters their cohesiveness and the allegiances of their members. When a group is concentrated in a growing industry, economic optimism and resources flow between coethnics, bolster- ing migrants’ confidence in their economic security and dissuading investments in political assimilation. When a group is concentrated in a declining industry, these gains dissipate, leading migrants to integrate into outside groups with greater access to political rents. Analyses of immigrants near U.S. coal mines in the early 20th century support this theory. This work shows how ethnic groups’ distribution across industries shapes the evolution of identity cleavages and illuminates how decarbonizing transitions away from fossil fuels may redraw group boundaries and identity conflicts.

The Political Consequences of Mass Repatriation

Edoardo Cefalà, Department of Economics, University of Nottingham (Email:; Twitter: @edocefa)

What happens when the electorate of a country is suddenly increased by hundreds of thousands of new potential voters? How parties adjust their strategies in response to such an event? To address these questions I exploit a quasi-experiment represented by the arrival in France of about 1 million repatriates from Algeria, the so called pieds noirs, which happened in 1962. To study the causal impact of the pieds noirs on political voting, I instrument their location choice based on the average temperature by department. I find that the arrival of the pieds noirs increased the turnout and the vote share of far-right parties while decreased the vote share of center-right parties in both legislative and presidential elections between 1962 and 1974. I then analyse how this shock affected the political strategies of the different French parties by looking at more than 10,000 political manifestos issued in the legislative elections between 1962 and 1973. I show that, the larger the exposure to the repatriates’ arrival, the larger the share of the political manifestos devoted to the issues associated with pieds noirs. These findings, are not simply relegated to an historical setting but can be relevant in explaining current parties’ behaviour. As in the case of the pieds noirs, ignored issues may still be captured by radical parties and used for their own political advantage.

Repression, Military Service, and Insurrection

Roya Talibova, Departments of Political Science and Scientific Computing, University of Michigan (Email:, Twitter: @roya_talibova)

Why do some military veterans take up arms against the state, while others do not? Past research has identified the long-term effects of repression on political behavior and the crucial role of combat experience in advancing human capital, yet little is known about how combat veterans from marginalized backgrounds utilize these skills in a post-war society. Using multiple datasets containing millions of individual records on the Russian Imperial Army conscripts of WWI, soldiers of the revolutionary Red Army and state- backed Imperial White Guard of the Russian Civil War, I study whether WWI veterans from ethnic minority groups were more likely to rebel. The results provide strong evi- dence that soldiers from marginalized groups and inhabitants of ethnically diverse dis- tricts were more likely to join the revolutionary forces to fight against the crumbling em- pire, while ethnic Russians joined state forces against the revolutionary movement. These long-term effects matter – in authoritarian settings, even more so – because the state re- sorts to its military to ensure regime survival when internal security agencies fail in the face of domestic unrest.

The Paradox of Imperial Taxation: How Diversity Constrains Development and Dominant Groups Shoulder the Tax Burdens

Yusuf Magiya, Department of Political Science, Columbia University (Email:; Twitter: @MagiyaYusuf)

This paper examines how diversity (higher proportion of minorities as well as higher heterogeneity) constrains state building through increasing costs of building fiscal capacity and how it results in the core/dominant groups shouldering a higher portion of the tax burdens. I argue that ethnic and religious diversity render a population more illegible to the state and increase the costs of the state’s investment in fiscal capacity. Higher costs discourage the state’s investment in fiscal capacity in more diverse areas and hinder fiscal capacity building there. The relatively lower costs of investment under lower diversity makes the state focus its investments in such areas, making the state place the tax burdens of state building on the members of the core/dominant group due to their higher legibility to the state, while minorities do not see such increases in their tax burdens. Empirically, I test these expectations with an original dataset of local-level fiscal revenues in late Ottoman Empire collected from hundreds of archival documents in addition to other quantitative and qualitative data from archival sources. I find that wartime increases in fiscal capacity were higher in less diverse localities and the mechanism that drives this difference is diversity discouraging investment in fiscal capacity by increasing its costs.


  • Jeffery A. Jenkins is Provost Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Law, Judith and John Bedrosian Chair of Governance and the Public Enterprise, Director of the Bedrosian Center, and Director of the Political Institutions and Political Economy (PIPE) Collaborative at the University of Southern California. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy (JPIPE) and the Journal of Historical Political Economy (JHPE). He was the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Politics for six years (2015-2020).

Leave a Reply