David Brady

Davies Family Senior Fellow
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Brady is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professor of Political Science in the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He has published seven books and more than a hundred papers in journals and books.  Among his most recent books are Leadership and Growth (World Bank Publications, 2010) with Michael Spence, Revolving Gridlock: Politics and Policy from Carter to Bush II (Westview Press, 2006), and Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics with Pietro Nivola (Brookings Institution Press, 2007).  His recent articles include “Why Is Health Care Reform So Difficult?” with Daniel Kessler, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, April 2010; “Putting the Public’s Money Where Its Mouth Is”  with Daniel Kessler, Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, August 2009, pages 917–25; “Leadership and Politics: A Perspective from the Growth Commission,” with Michael Spence, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 25, no. 2 (2009): 205–18; “The 2010 Elections: Why Did Political Science Forecasts Go Awry?” with Morris P. Fiorina and Arjun Wilkins, 2011.

Brady has been on continual appointment at Stanford University since 1986, where he has served as associate dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School of Business (GSB) and as vice provost for Distance Learning.  He has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.  He presently holds the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professorship in Ethics at the Business School and was deputy director of the Hoover Institution from 2004-2014.

During his teaching career, he won the Dinkelspiel Award for service to undergraduates, the Richard Lyman Prize for service to alumni, the Bob Davies Award and the Jaedicke Silver Cup from the GSB, and the first Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award given at Stanford.  He also won the George Brown Teaching Award at Rice University.

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Recent Commentary

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Can Undecideds Help Trump Win The Election?

by David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Going into September, Hillary Clinton has a sizable advantage over Donald Trump: five percentage points in the RealClearPolitics’ polling average. The Upshot, the New York Times’ polling blog, gives Clinton a 90 percent chance of winning the presidency, while British Sky Bet gives Clinton four times as good a chance as Trump.

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Westminster, D.C.?

by David Bradyvia Commentary
Thursday, August 11, 2016

No, the United States does not need a prime minister.

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Trade Winds

by David Bradyvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

Globalization is buffeting states as never before. The stable systems will be those that best handle rapid economic change.

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The Shrinking Predictive Power Of Economic Growth Models

by David Brady, Douglas Riversvia In Perspective: Decision 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016

Now that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have all but secured their parties’ nominations, what is the best way to look at how their 2016 matchup is most likely to turn out?

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Orlando Shooting, Sanders Staying In: How They Affect Polls

by Carl Cannon, David Bradyvia Real Clear Politics
Monday, June 27, 2016

Are candidates more important than the issues in 2016—or is the other way around? A new survey by YouGov unearths evidence for both hypotheses, while providing intriguing hints about the mood of the 2016 electorate.

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Stuck in the Middle

by David Bradyvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 18, 2016

It’s the independents, not the true believers, who make or break a candidate. And they don’t think all that much of Donald Trump.


Economics In A Time Of Political Instability

by Michael Spence, David Bradyvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Over the last 35 years, Western democracies have seen a rapid rise in political instability, characterized by frequent shifts in governing parties and their programs and philosophies, driven at least partly by economic transformation and hardship.


Explaining The Trump Phenomenon

by David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Real Clear Politics
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Americans are unhappy with various facets of current institutions and politics. Over two-thirds of us believe that the economic system favors the wealthy and that government wastes a lot of our money.


Globalization And Political Instability

by David Bradyvia The American Interest
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Political instability, defined as volatility in electoral politics, is on the rise in Western democracies and shows no signs of abating. Granting the premise just for the moment, why is this happening? 


GOP Cage Fights Make Democratic Winners

by David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, February 29, 2016

The percentage of voters who rule out supporting Republican candidates is steadily climbing.