Larry M. Bartels holds the May Werthan Shayne Chair in Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University. He has published extensively on American electoral politics, public opinion, public policy, and political representation. Bartels was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but moved to Santa Barbara, California, at the age of 15 to meet girls?one of whom he later married. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Yale University in 1978 and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California?Berkeley in 1983. He taught for 9 years at the University of Rochester and for 20 years at Princeton University before joining the Vanderbilt political science department in 2011. He has served as vice president of the American Political Science Association, president of its Political Methodology section, chair of the Board of Overseers of the American National Election Studies, founding director of Princeton?s Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, and pivotal non-partisan member of the New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission.

Research Interests

Bartels's work has appeared in outlets ranging from the American Political Science Review to the New York Times to the Monkey Cage blog, where he is an occasional contributor. His 2008 book, Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, analyzed the political causes and consequences of escalating economic inequality in America. It was cited by Barack Obama on the campaign trail and by the New York Times as one of the "economics books of the year." His first book, Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice, analyzed the interaction of voters, candidates, and the news media in presidential nominating campaigns. He has also published influential articles on the use of heuristics in voting behavior, the effect of partisanship on political perceptions and candidate preferences, the impact of the mass media on political attitudes, and the politics of defense spending. His recent work focuses on assessing political accountability (with Christopher Achen), measuring the policy preferences and political behavior of wealthy Americans (with Benjamin Page), and analyzing political responses to the Great Recession in affluent democracies (with Nancy Bermeo).

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences