John Michael Carey

Academic Appointments

Associate Dean for the Social Sciences
John Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences
Professor of Government
Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Carey teaches the introductory course, Politics of the World, upper-level courses on elections and on the politics in Latin America, and a seminar on foreign aid. His research is on what makes democracies thrive and why they sometimes fail. He has published widely on the design of electoral rules and how they affect the quality of representation. Recently, he has also conducted research on why people believe in conspiracy theories, and what are the effects on politics. A separate project focuses on what students really think about campus diversity. Professor Carey is also a co-founder of, an initiative that monitors the quality of U.S. democracy. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. Lots more information about his work, as well as links to public data, are available on his website

646 1130
226 Silsby Hall
HB 6108
Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
Quantitative Social Science
B.A. Harvard University
Ph.D. University of California at San Diego

Selected Publications

Recent Articles

“Who will defend democracy? Evaluating tradeoffs in candidate support among partisan donors and voters.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Policy. Co-authored with Katherine Clayton, Gretchen Helmke, Brendan Nyhan, Mitchell Sanders, and Susan C. Stokes. 2020.

“The effects of corrective information about disease epidemics and outbreaks: Evidence from Zika and Yellow Fever in Brazil.” Co-authored with Victoria Chi, D.J. Flynn, Brendan Nyhan, and Thomas Zeitzoff. Science Advances 6(5): eaaw7449. 2020.

Searching for a bright line: The first year of the Trump presidency.” Co-authored with Gretchen Helmke, Brendan Nyhan, Mitchell Sanders, and Susan C. Stokes. Perspectives on Politics 17(3):699-718. 2019.

"Who believes in conspiracy theories in Venezuela?" Latin American Research Review54(2), 444–457. 2019.

“Student Attitudes toward Diversity at the United States Naval Academy: Evidence from Conjoint Survey Experiments.” Co-authored with John Polga-Hecimovich and Yusaku Horiuchi. Armed Forces and Society. 2019

"Electoral system design in new democracies.” Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems. Erik Herron, Robert Pekkanen, and Matthew Soberg Shugart, editors. 2018.

“Who wants to hire a more diverse faculty? A conjoint analysis of faculty and student preferences for gender and racial/ethnic diversity.” Co-authored with Kevin R. Carman, Katherine P. Clayton, Yusaku Horiuchi, Mala Htun, and Brittany Ortiz. Politics, Groups, and Identities 8(3):535-553. 2018.



Campus Diversity: The Hidden Consensus. Co-authored with Katherine P. Clayton and Yusaku Horiuchi. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Legislative Voting and Accountability.  Cambridge University Press. 2009.

Term Limits in the State Legislatures.  Co-authored with Richard Niemi and Lynda Powell.  University of Michigan Press. 2000.

Executive Decree Authority.  Co-authored/edited with Matthew S. Shugart.  Cambridge University Press.  1998.

Term Limits and Legislative Representation. Cambridge University Press. 1996.

Presidents and Assemblies:  Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics.  Co-authored with Matthew S. Shugart.  Cambridge University Press. 1992.


Selected Previous Articles

“The electoral sweet spot:  Low-magnitude proportional electoral systems.”  Co-authored with Simon Hix.  American Journal of Political Science 55(2):383-397.  April 2011.

“Competing principals, political institutions, and party unity in legislative voting.”  American Journal of Political Science 51(1):92-107.  January 2007.

“Primary Elections and Candidate Strength in Latin America.”  Co-authored with John Polga-Hecimovich.  Journal of Politics 68(3):530-543.  August 2006.

“Incumbency and the Probability of Reelection in State Legislative Elections.”  Co-authored with Richard Niemi and Lynda Powell.  Journal of Politics 62(3):671-700.  September 2000.

“Parchment, Equilibria, and Institutions.”  Comparative Political Studies 33(6/7):735-761.  August 2000.

"Presidential Agenda Control and Spending Policy: Lessons from General Pinochet's Constitution."  Co-authored with Lisa Baldez.  American Journal of Political Science 43(1):29-55.  January 1999.

"Incentives to Cultivate a Personal Vote:  A Rank Ordering of Electoral Formulas."  Co-authored with Matthew S. Shugart.  Electoral Studies 14(4): 417-439.  December 1995.

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