Graeme Blair

Assistant Professor of Political Science
UCLA
Project on Resources and Governance (co-founder)
Evidence in Governance and Politics
Center for Effective Global Action

I use experiments and field research to study the causes and consequences of violence in developing countries – and what we can do about them. I work primarily in Nigeria and South Africa.

Conflict in resource-rich contexts

Why is armed conflict associated with contexts rich in resources like oil and minerals? How does the violence affect people in these contexts?

Graeme Blair, Darin Christensen, Valerie Wirtschafter. “How does violence shape mining investment?” 2019. Working paper.

Graeme Blair, Darin Christensen, Aaron Rudkin. “Meta-analysis of commodity prices and conflict.” 2019.
Preanalysis Plan

 

Civilians during and after conflict

How does armed conflict shape civilian attitudes and behaviors? What is different about conflicts involving violent extremist groups?

Rebecca Littman, Graeme Blair, Rebecca Wolfe, Mohammed Bukar, Jiyoung Kim, Yunusa Aina, Yetcha Ajimi Badu, Fatima Abba Kurama, Ahmed Umar Lawan. “Demonstrating genuine change increases victim’s willingness to reconcile with transgressors: Experimental evidence from Nigeria.” 2019. Working paper.

Jason Lyall, Graeme Blair, Kosuke Imai. “Explaining support for combatants during wartime: A survey experiment in Afghanistan.” American Political Science Review, 2013.
PDF   MPSA Pi Sigma Alpha Award   Replication

Graeme Blair, Christine Fair, Neil Malhotra, Jacob N. Shapiro. “Poverty and support for militant politics: Evidence from Pakistan.” American Journal of Political Science, 2013.
PDF   Replication   Appendices

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Recording audio messages about repentance at the Kanem-FM radio studio in Maiduguri, Nigeria.
 
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Film poster for Water of Gold.

Bottom-up mechanisms to improve government performance

How can we encourage and sustain pro-social citizen behaviors? How can we harness these behaviors to improve public services?

Graeme Blair, Rebecca Littman, Elizabeth Levy Paluck. “Motivating the adoption of new community-minded behaviors: An empirical test in Nigeria.” Science Advances, 2019.
PDF   Project   Policy brief   Replication   Preanalysis Plan   Appendices

Graeme Blair, Fotini Christia, Jeremy Weinstein, et al. “Does Community Policing Build Trust in the State and Reduce Crime?”

I lead a six-country study (“metaketa”) to test a common intervention that implement community policing program consisting of two components: (1) a community engagement program to solicit information on community problems from citizens and transmit information about police programs to citizens; and (2) a problem-oriented policing program, in which police address problems identified through community engagement programs directly with small, dedicated budgets or indirectly with the assistance of other public and private agencies.
Project   Preanalysis Plan

 
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Describing a research design in code using DeclareDesign.

Improving research designs

How can we improve our research designs before we implement them? How do we know if we have selected a good research design?

BITSS Leamer-Rosenthal Prize

Graeme Blair, Jasper Cooper, Alexander Coppock, Macartan Humphreys. Research Design: Declaration, Diagnosis, and Redesign. Under advance contract, Princeton University Press.

Graeme Blair, Jasper Cooper, Alexander Coppock, Macartan Humphreys. “Declaring and diagnosing research designs.” American Political Science Review, 2019.
PDF   Replication   Appendices

Graeme Blair and Gwyneth McClendon. “Experiments in Multiple Contexts.” In Donald P. Green and James Druckman, Handbook of Experimental Political Science, under advance contract, Cambridge University Press.

Research tools

Polmeth Statistical Software Award

Graeme Blair, Jasper Cooper, Alexander Coppock, Macartan Humphreys, and Neal Fultz. “DeclareDesign: Declare and Diagnose Research Designs.” R package.
Web   Cheatsheet

Graeme Blair, Jasper Cooper, Alexander Coppock, Macartan Humphreys, and Luke Sonnet. “estimatr: Fast Estimators for Design-Based Inference.” R package.
Web   Cheatsheet

Graeme Blair, Jasper Cooper, Alexander Coppock, Macartan Humphreys, Aaron Rudkin, and Neal Fultz. “fabricatr: Imagine Your Data Before You Collect It.” R package.
Web

 

Sensitivity bias in surveys

Do survey respondents answer sensitive questions truthfully? What can we do if they do not?

Graeme Blair, Alexander Coppock, Margaret Moor. “When to Worry About Sensitivity Bias: A Social Reference Theory and Evidence from 30 Years of List Experiments.” Revise and resubmit, American Political Science Review.
PDF

Graeme Blair, Winston Chou, Kosuke Imai. “List experiments with measurement error.” Political Analysis, 2019.
PDF  Replication

Graeme Blair, Kosuke Imai, Yang-Yang Zhou. “Design and analysis of the randomized response technique.” Journal of the American Statistical Association, 2015.
PDF   Replication

Graeme Blair, Kosuke Imai, Jason Lyall. “Comparing and combining list and endorsement experiments: Evidence from Afghanistan.” American Journal of Political Science, 2014.
PDF   Replication

Graeme Blair, Kosuke Imai. “Statistical analysis of list experiments.” Political Analysis, 2012.
PDF   Replication   Appendices

Research tools

Graeme Blair and Kosuke Imai. “list: Statistical Methods for the Item Count Technique and List Experiment.” R package.
Web

Graeme Blair, Yang-Yang Zhou, and Kosuke Imai. “rr: Statistical Methods for the Randomized Response Technique.” R package.
Web

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Conducting surveys about Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Nigeria.
 

Teaching

POL SCI 50: Comparative Politics. Winter 2017, 2018.

I am part of the cross-university teaching collaboration Democratic Erosion. The last third of POL SCI 50 focuses on democratic erosion from a comparative perspective.

POL SCI 200E: Experimental Design for Social Science. Fall 2016, Winter 2018, Fall 2019. Syllabus

POL SCI 240a/b: Comparative Politics Field Seminar. Fall-Winter 2016-17, 2019-20. Syllabus

Improving Designs in the Social Sciences workshop, 2016-2018 (Co-convener)

Politics of Order and Development Lab (Co-convener)