Alexander Kustov

Alexander Kustov
University of North Carolina at Charlotte | UNC Charlotte · Department of Political Science and Public Administration

Doctor of Philosophy

About

19
Publications
2,990
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103
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on public and policy responses to immigration and ethnic conflict in high-income countries. I specialize in experimental and computational methods informed by a range of data sources, including original surveys and economic games, historical and geocoded records, political texts and computer simulations. My book project "Borders of Compassion" examines under what conditions most people accept more open immigration policies.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - present
Yale University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2013 - August 2019
Princeton University
Field of study
  • Politics and Social Policy

Publications

Publications (19)
Preprint
Do voters have stable immigration views? While any account of immigration politics must make an assumption about whether underlying attitudes are stable, the literature has been ambiguous regarding the issue. To remedy this omission, we provide the first comprehensive assessment of the stability and change of immigration attitudes. Theoretically, w...
Article
How does ethnoracial demography relate to public goods provision? Many studies find support for the hypothesis that diversity is related to inefficient outcomes by comparing diverse and homogeneous communities. We distinguish between homogeneity of dominant and disadvantaged groups and argue that it is often impossible to identify the effects of di...
Article
Anti-immigration preferences among educated and racially egalitarian voters is hard to explain using existing frameworks of self-interest or prejudice. I address this puzzle by developing a theory of parochial altruism, which stipulates that voters are motivated to help others at a cost, but they prioritize helping compatriots. I hypothesize that p...
Article
Why is migration unpopular? A vast literature argues that voters oppose immigration because of threatened interests and prejudice. This paper is among the first studies of opposition to emigration-the other side of the issue salient in many countries. Departing from existing public opinion research, I develop a number of tests comparing emigration...
Article
Do significant pro-immigration reforms – that open legal pathways for labor and family immigration – increase populist voting? Despite the common assumption that such reforms would lead to counter-productive voter backlash informed by the literature on immigrant group threat, the extent to which immigration policy itself influences voters has been...
Article
Why do communities with larger shares of ethnic and racial minorities have worse public goods provision? Many studies have emphasized the role of diversity in hindering public outcomes, but the question of causality remains elusive. The authors contribute to this debate by tracing the roots of both contemporary racial demography and public goods pr...
Article
Why do some politicians employ populist rhetoric more than others within the same elections, and why do the same politicians employ more of it in some elections? Building on a simple formal theoretical model of two-candidate elections informed by the ideational approach to populist communication, we argue that the initially less popular political a...
Preprint
Do significant pro-immigration reforms—that open legal pathways for labor and family immigration—increase populist voting? Despite the common assumption that such reforms would lead to counter-productive voter backlash informed by the literature on immigrant group threat, the extent to which immigration policy itself influences voters has been uncl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Why do politicians and policymakers not prioritize pro-immigration reforms even when public opinion on the issue is positive? This research note examines one previously overlooked explanation related to the systematically greater importance of immigration as a political issue among those who oppose it relative to those who support it. To provide a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Scholarly work has missed the key reason for the extraordinary levels of political polarization and poor governance in American politics in recent years. Contrary to the appearance that strong party leaders dictate member behavior, we argue that weak party discipline produces polarizing rhetoric in lieu of actionable policy proposals. We attribute...
Preprint
Women have made significant strides toward equal representation within the U.S. Congress, but their seat share has mostly increased within the Democratic-but not Republican-Party. We argue that one driver of women's underrepresentation among Republicans is the proliferation of safe seats. Because safe seats encourage ideological extremism in candid...
Article
Do voters have stable immigration views? While any account of immigration politics must make an assumption about whether underlying attitudes are stable, the literature has been ambiguous regarding the issue. To remedy this omission, we provide the first comprehensive assessment of the stability and change of immigration attitudes. Theoretically, w...
Article
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected public opinion towards immigration? Long-term evidence in Europe and the United States suggests attitudes to immigration are relatively stable and, in some cases, becoming more favorable with high volatility instead in the perceived importance of the issue. However, theoretically a global pandemic could exacer...
Article
Do voters update their racialized political preferences in response to new information? To answer this long-standing question, we conduct an original survey examining U.S. mainland attitudes toward towards Puerto Rican statehood, a rare consequential racialized issue of low salience. To test whether public support for statehood can be changed, we e...
Preprint
Why do communities with larger shares of ethnic and racial minorities have worse public outcomes such as service provision? Many studies emphasize the role of diversity and other demographic variables, but the question of causality remains underexplored. We contribute to this debate by tracing the roots of contemporary racial demography and public...
Preprint
Why do some politicians employ populist rhetoric more within the same elections? We present a model of populism where two competitors allocate their effort between conventional and–much riskier–populist campaigning in an attempt to (de)mobilize the electorate. We show that, despite its risks, the politician with the lower prior support is likelier...
Preprint
Why do communities with larger shares of ethnic and racial minorities have worse public outcomes such as service provision? Many studies emphasize the role of diversity and other demographic variables, but the question of causality remains underexplored. We contribute to this debate by tracing the roots of contemporary racial demography and public...
Article
Why do immigrants from particular countries systematically face more opposition? To resolve inconsistencies of prevailing group-threat theories, I reintroduce a long-standing hypothesis stipulating that people have a disposition for maintaining status hierarchy between ethnic groups. Accordingly, independent of perceived economic or cultural threat...
Article
Does ethnic structure affect the occurrence of civil conflict and, if so, how? This study develops an agent-based model of endogenous grievances that builds on the new constructivist conceptualization of ethnicity and the theories of group inequality and crosscuttingness. Specifically, I simulate conflict as a function of spontaneous economic dispa...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The book project examines under what conditions most people in rich democracies would accept more open and humane immigration policies.
Project
Building on novel historical and geocoded data from U.S. and Brazilian municipalities, the project aims to adjudicate between various mechanisms that explain how ethnic demography is related to social (in)efficiency.