Jonathan Rodden

Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Jonathan Rodden is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the political science department at Stanford. Rodden was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, 2006–7, and a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow, 2010–12.

He has written several articles and a pair of books on federalism and fiscal decentralization. His most recent book, Hamilton’s Paradox: The Promise and Peril of Fiscal Federalism, received the Gregory Luebbert Prize for the best book in comparative politics in 2007. He frequently works with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on issues related to fiscal decentralization.

His research focuses on the comparative political economy of institutions. Rodden has also written papers on the geographic distribution of political preferences within countries, legislative bargaining, the distribution of budgetary transfers across regions, and the historical origins of political institutions. He is currently writing a series of articles and a book on political geography and the drawing of electoral districts around the world.

Rodden received his PhD in political science from Yale University and his BA from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright student at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2007, he was the Ford Associate Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Recent Commentary

Why House Republicans Don’t Need the Gerrymander

by Jowei Chen, Jonathan Roddenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Commissions can redraw district lines all they like. The GOP would almost certainly retain a majority in the House.

Map of US Flag

Special: Bruno and Rodden on the John Batchelor Show

by Carson Bruno, Jonathan Roddenvia John Batchelor Show
Friday, May 9, 2014

In conjunction with a special live taping of the John Batchelor Show at the Hoover Spring Retreat, John Batchelor and Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal hosted Hoover research fellow Carson Bruno and Hoover senior fellow Jonathan Rodden. First, Bruno discusses the Draper plan to divide California into six states from a political and economic perspective; second, Rodden discusses political polarization in the US.

US Political Parties
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Don't Blame the Maps

by Jonathan Rodden, Jowei Chenvia New York Times
Monday, January 27, 2014
 

The Detroit Cure

by Jonathan Roddenvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dr. Johnson’s remark at the prospect of being hanged is just as true of the prospect of municipal bankruptcy: it concentrates the mind wonderfully.

One of the tens of thousands of abandoned homes in Detroit.
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Detroit Bankruptcy: Just What Muni Bond Market Needs?

by Jonathan Roddenvia Investor's Business Daily
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Detroit's bankruptcy could help other U.S. cities and states avert a debt crisis by sending a powerful message to unions, politicians and bond holders.

Blue Globe showing US
Other Media

Representation and redistribution in federations

by Jonathan Rodden, Tiberiu Draguvia Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Monday, May 2, 2011

To obtain an improved estimate of the relationship between representation and redistribution, we collect and analyze provincial-level data from nine federations over several decades, taking advantage of the historical process through which federations formed and expanded...

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