Political Scientist Alan Gerber To Hold the Dilley Professorship

Alan S. Gerber, the newly named Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Political Science, focuses his research on the application of experimental methods to the study of campaign communications.

He has designed and performed experimental evaluations of many campaigns and fundraising programs, both partisan and non-partisan in nature. His studies have investigated such issues as how campaign spending affects election outcomes, how modes of communication (such as canvassing, phone calls, direct mail and alternative methods) influence voter mobilization, the effect of partisan campaigns on voter turnout, and the impact of newspaper slant and television campaign advertising. A 1998 field experiment he conducted with Yale colleague Donald Green on voter mobilization in New Haven was the largest ever conducted in political science and the first in this area since the early 1980s. His 2000 report on that study in the American Political Science Review led to a surge in field experimentation in the discipline. His recent work has examined social and psychological influences on voter participation, such as social pressure.

Gerber is the director of the Yale Center for the Study of American Politics and has been a fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies for over a decade. He has written a number of papers with Green, with whom he co-authored the 2004 book “Get Out the Vote! How To Increase Voter Turnout.” The book was published as a second edition this year. Gerber is the co-editor of “Promoting the General Welfare: New Perspectives on Government Performance,” and has authored or co-authored numerous book chapters and journal articles.

Gerber graduated from Yale in 1986 and earned his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. He joined the Yale faculty in 1993 and served as director of undergraduate studies in political science from 1996 to 1999. During the 2004-2005 academic year, he was a fellow-in-residence at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, California. He is currently a National Bureau of Economic Research faculty research fellow in political economy.

Gerber’s honors include the Heinz Eulau Award for the best article in the American Political Science Review in 2002. He is the co-editor of the Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

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