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Michael Sances

Michael Sances


Clement Hall
Office Hours

About Michael Sances

Dr. Sances joined the Political Science department in 2015. His research focuses on political institutions in American politics, especially at the state and local level. He is particularly interested in whether institutional reforms intended to improve democratic accountability – such as direct elections and direct democracy – actually achieve their desired effects. Dr. Sances received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014, and was a postdoctoral scholar at Vanderbilt University's Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015.


Research Interests

State and Local Politics; Political Institutions; Democratic Accountability; Quantitative Methods


Teaching Interests

American Politics; Research Methods



"The Distributional Impact of Greater Responsiveness: Evidence from New York Towns." Journal of Politics 78(1): 105-119. January 2016.

"Partisanship and Confidence in the Vote Count: Evidence from U.S. National Elections since 2000." With Charles Stewart. Electoral Studies 40: 176-188. December 2015.

"Closeness Counts: Increasing Precision and Reducing Errors in Mass Election Predictions." With Kai Quek. Political Analysis 23(4): 518-533. September 2015.

"Can We Convert Shirkers Into Workers?" With Adam Berinsky and Michele Margolis. Forthcoming in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. September 2015.

"Separating the Shirkers from the Workers? Making Sure that Subjects Pay Attention on Self-Administered Surveys." With Adam Berinsky and Michele Margolis. American Journal of Political Science 58(3): 739-753. July 2014.

"Constituencies and Public Opinion." With Andrea Campbell. In The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy, eds. Daniel Béland, Christopher Howard, and Kimberly J. Morgan. Oxford University Press. 2014.

"State Fiscal Policy during the Great Recession: Budgetary Impacts and Policy Responses." With Andrea Campbell. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 650(1): 252-273. November 2013.

"Is Money in Politics Harming Trust in Government? Evidence from Two Survey Experiments." Election Law Journal 12(1): 53-73. March 2013.

"Disenfranchisement through Divorce? Estimating the Effect of Parental Absence on Voter Turnout." Political Behavior 35(1): 199-213. March 2013.



Assistant Professor in Department of Political Science, University of Memphis (Fall 2015 to present); Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Vanderbilt University (Fall 2014 to Spring 2015)