Assistant Professor of Political Science, Boston University
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Boston University. I received my Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University in 2014.
I study American political institutions, including Congress, the judiciary, electoral institutions, and local political institutions. I am particularly interested in how rules shape individual decision making and on the effects of political time on institutional outcomes. My work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. My current research focuses on the returns to office for former politicians, local politics and institutions, and methods for analyzing redistricting plans and gerrymandering.
I teach courses on American politics and institutions (Introduction to American Politics, Congress and Its Critics, and Prohibition), and methodology (Formal Political Theory and Political Analysis).
I graduated from Bowdoin College in 2008 with an A.B. in Government and Mathematics. From 2008 to 2010 I worked as an economic consultant specializing in the energy sector.
Download my C.V. here.
- Ansolabehere, Stephen, Maxwell Palmer, and Benjamin Schneer. Forthcoming. “Divided Government and Significant Legislation, A History of Congress from 1789–2010.” Social Science History.
- Edwards, Barry, Michael Crespin, Ryan D. Williamson, and Maxwell Palmer. 2017. “Institutional Control of Redistricting and the Geography of Representation.” Journal of Politics 79(2):722–726.
- Ansolabehere, Stephen and Maxwell Palmer. 2016. “A Two Hundred-Year Statistical History of the Gerrymander.” Ohio State Law Journal 77(4): 741–762. (Coverage: Washington Post)
- Palmer, Maxwell. 2016. “Does the Chief Justice Make Partisan Appointments to Special Courts and Panels?” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 13(1): 153– 177.
- Palmer, Maxwell and Benjamin Schneer. 2016. “Capitol Gains: The Returns to Elected Office from Corporate Board Directorships.” Journal of Politics 78(1): 181–196. [Appendix; Replication Data]
- Gerring, John, Maxwell Palmer, Jan Teorell, and Dominic Zarecki. 2015. “Demography and Democracy: A Global, District-level Analysis of Electoral Contestation.” American Political Science Review 109(3): 574–591. [Appendix; Replication Data]
Introduction to American Government
- An introductory course on American government and politics, covering political institutions, political behavior, elections, and public policy. (CAS PO 111; Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016)
Congress and Its Critics
- A seminar on the United States Congress, the policy-making process, and congressional elections. Throughout, we will debate the common criticism that “Congress is broken” and consider Congress’ effectiveness as an institution. (CAS PO 302; Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017)
Formal Political Theory
- An introductory course on formal theory, including topics in decision theory, game theory, and social choice theory. Topics include spatial models, electoral competition, bargaining, deterrence, and signaling models. (CAS PO 501; Spring 2015, Spring 2017)
Prohibition, Regulation, and Bureaucracy
- In this class we use the American experience of Prohibition as a lens to understand a variety of political and policy issues, including the War on Drugs, crime and law enforcement, bureaucracies, regulation, taxation, and social movements. (CAS PO 540; Fall 2015)
- An introduction to methodological issues faced in empirical work across the social sciences, with primary reference to political science. Addresses issues using different empirical approaches – qualitative or quantitative, experimental or observational – to any sort of theory. (GRS PO 840; Fall 2016)
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