Dr. Simpser is professor of political science at ITAM in Mexico City, and faculty affiliate at ITAM’s Center for Economic Research (CIE) and Center for Energy and Natural Resources (CIERN). Prior to joining ITAM in 2014, he was faculty at the University of Chicago’s department of political science. He has been a residential Fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University, and National Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a Level II National Researcher in Mexico’s Sistema Nacional de Investigadores. He holds a PhD degree in political science and an MA degree in economics from Stanford University, as well as a B.Sc. degree in environmental engineering sciences from Harvard College. Before entering academia he was employed at the strategy consultancy McKinsey & Co., where he worked on energy projects.
His research examines major problems in the political economy of development, including corruption, electoral manipulation, failures of governance and accountability, and the relationship between institutions, culture, and behavior. His work utilizes statistical, experimental, formal, and qualitative methods. His research has been published in academic outlets including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Latin American Research Review, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Annual Review of Political Science. His first book, Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections, came out in Cambridge University Press’ Series on the Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions. His second book, coedited with Prof. Tom Ginsburg, is titled Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes and was published in Cambridge University Press’ Series on Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy. He received the SAGE Best Paper Award for the article “Intergenerational Persistence of Attitudes toward Corruption.” He is co-Principal Investigator on “Donating Time for Democracy,” funded by a JPAL Governance Initiative grant. His research has been covered by media in Mexico and abroad, including Reforma, Excelsior, the Washington Post, Vox, Esquire (Russia), and El Tiempo (Colombia).
Topics of Interest
- Political Economy
- quality of government
- electoral fraud
- causal inference and experimental methods