Katherine Levine Einstein's research while affiliated with Boston University and other places

Publications (46)

Article
Owning a home profoundly shapes Americans’ economic and political lives and preferences. A wide body of housing policy research suggests that homeowners receive favorable treatment from public policy at all levels of government. We know virtually nothing, however, about the descriptive representation of renters and homeowners. This paper combines a...
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Full-text available
Developers have a longstanding history of exercising disproportionate influence over federal, state, and local policy decisions, often at the expense of communities of color and lower-income neighborhoods. Recent research suggests, however, that homeowners and the interest groups that represent them may have gained the upper hand politically, makin...
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Recent research has demonstrated that participants in public meetings are unrepresentative of their broader communities. Some suggest that reducing barriers to meeting attendance can improve participation, while others believe doing so will produce minimal changes. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted public meetings online, potentially reducing the time...
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Objective Mayors have considerable and often direct influence over health policy in their cities, yet little is known about mayors’ general perceptions of current public health challenges. The objective of this study was to assess perceptions, attitudes, and priorities related to public health among US mayors. Methods We collected survey data from...
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In the face of federal government intransigence, climate activists are looking to the local leaders to aggressively address climate change. While local politicians are limited in many respects, their control over land use and transportation policy provides them with powerful tools to reduce Americans’ reliance on cars–thereby decreasing greenhouse...
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Many scholars examine what role cities can play in addressing racial inequality. Yet existing research presents little direct evidence of local political elites’ perceptions of racial inequality and preferred strategies to address it. Which mayors perceive racial inequality to be a problem in their cities, and which mayors prefer substantive rather...
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“Rethinking Exclusionary Zoning” provocatively claims that the movement to eliminate exclusionary zoning is misguided, and will create a worse set of social, economic, and political conditions than those currently produced by contemporary land-use regulations. In this response, I present several challenges to this claim. First, I demonstrate that “...
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Scholars and policymakers have highlighted institutions that enable community participation as a potential buffer against existing political inequalities. Yet these venues may bias policy discussions in favor of an unrepresentative group of individuals. To explore who participates, we compile a novel data set by coding thousands of instances of cit...
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Most studies of policy diffusion attempt to infer the processes through which policies spread by observing outputs (policy adoptions). We approach these issues from the other direction by directly analyzing a key policymaking input—information about others’ policies. Moreover, we do so by investigating policy diffusion in cities rather than states....
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Since 2013, protests opposing police violence against Black people have occurred across a number of American cities under the banner of “Black Lives Matter.” We develop a new dataset of Black Lives Matter protests that took place in 2014–2015 and explore the contexts in which they emerged. We find that Black Lives Matter protests are more likely to...
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The mayor’s office potentially offers a launchpad for statewide and national political ambitions. We know relatively little, however, about how frequently mayors actually run for higher office, and which mayors choose to do so. This article combines longitudinal data on the career paths of the mayors of 200 big cities with new survey and interview...
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Home Rule Be Damned: Exploring Policy Conflicts between the Statehouse and City Hall - William D. Hicks, Carol Weissert, Jeffrey Swanson, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Vladimir Kogan, Lori Riverstone-Newell, Jaclyn Bunch, Katherine Levine Einstein, David Glick, Dorothy M. Daley, Jonathan M. Fisk, Jami K. Taylor, Donald P. Haider-Markel, Daniel C. Lewis
Article
Previous scholarship on American federalism has largely focused on the national government's increasingly conflictual relationship with the states.While some studies have explored the rise of mandates at the state level, there has been comparatively less attention on state local relationships. Using a new survey of mayors, we explore variations in...
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Policymakers and scholars are increasingly looking to cities to address challenges including income inequality. No existing research, however, directly and systematically measures local political elites’ preferences for redistribution. We interview and survey 72 American mayors—including many from the nation’s largest cities—and collect public stat...
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Many political observers have expressed doubts as to whether America's leaders are up to the task of addressing major policy challenges. Yet much of the critical commentary lacks grounding in the systematic analysis of the core institutions of the American political system including elections, representation, and the law-making process. Governing i...
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We examine the effect of a sudden influx of government spending, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on support for the president's party. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that stimulus spending had a modest positive effect on Democratic vote share but only in counties that were already Democratic leaning. In Rep...
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While experimental studies of local election officials have found evidence of racial discrimination, we know little about whether these biases manifest in bureaucracies that provide access to valuable government programs and are less tied to politics. We address these issues in the context of affordable housing programs using a randomized field exp...
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This article explores the dangers to the quality of democratic governance of those who are informed but disengaged and, especially, those who are engaged but use false ‘knowledge’. Poll data show the extent of Americans’ misinformation about, or disengagement with, climate change. The main responsibility for these problems lies with politicians, wh...
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Patients with treatment-resistant advanced cancer rarely benefit from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but infrequently discuss end-of-life care with physicians until hospitalized. Admitting resident physicians may conduct initial code status discussions, but may elicit patients' preferences without providing necessary guidance. We surveyed resi...
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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ushered in the elimination of Jim Crow-era restrictions and ensured that black and white Americans were permitted equal access to public transportation, schools, restrooms, parks, and restaurants. On the law's fiftieth anniversary, though, it is difficult to ignore continuing entrenched segregation in America's neighbor...
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Are city governments capable of responding to the preferences of their constituents? Or is the menu of policy options determined by forces beyond their direct control? We answer these questions using a comprehensive cross-sectional database linking voter preferences to local policy outcomes in more than 2,000 midsize cities and a new panel covering...
Article
83 Background: Patients with treatment-resistant advanced cancer rarely benefit from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but infrequently discuss end-of-life care with a physician until hospitalized for deterioration. Admitting resident physicians may therefore conduct initial code-status discussions, but may elicit patients’ preferences without pr...
Article
While the willingness of people to believe unfounded and conspiratorial explanations of events is fascinating and troubling, few have addressed the broader impacts of the dissemination of conspiracy claims. We use survey experiments to assess whether realistic exposure to a conspiracy claim affects conspiracy beliefs and trust in government. These...
Article
Are city governments capable of responding to the preferences of their constituents? Or is the menu of policy options determined by forces beyond their direct control? We answer these questions using the most comprehensive cross-sectional database linking voter preferences to local policy outcomes in more than 2,000 mid-size cities and a new panel...
Article
Since the 1980s, the American federal government has devolved a wide array of crucial policy decisions to the state and local levels. With a decrease in federal aid and an increase in the number of tools available to lower tiers of government, scholars of American urban politics have suggested that cooperation among metropolitan municipalities coul...

Citations

... The concept of the two faces of power thus provides a valuable interpretative approach for research on how the interests of different stakeholders are treated in democratic participatory processes (see e.g. Einstein et al., 2022). ...
... Social psychology 14,83,84 • Cognitive responses to sustainability information (e.g. acceptance/rejection, dissonance). ...
... We start from the understanding that health care systems do not exist in isolation but are part of complex urban systems. We focus on the city-scale because cities themselves experience a high degree of socio-spatial inequities in health, are unique in that they are often tasked with ensuring the health of residents, yet lack control of health care systems which, in the U.S., consist largely of private entities governed by multiple levels of state and federal laws, regulations and payment mechanisms [4,5]. ...
... 363) for political and economic institutions linked to economic inequality, financial stability, and ecological crises, destabilizing social cohesion and community resilience. Thus, neighbourhood defenders, according to Einstein et al. (2020) tend to be Republican, while Democrats are more likely to support housing developments. ...
... As we've found out from the articles here and from other research, citizen participation requirements in cities can play a significant role in the ultimate outcome of policy or project proposals. In their book Neighborhood Defenders, Einstein et al. (2020) document a pattern where suburban homeowners use participation processes to at the very least slow down housing development proposals. Activists often counter a proposal on the table with their own research claiming that city planners and developers are ignoring adverse consequences that will follow from construction. ...
... Defined here as the engagement of residents in decision-making processes concerning issues that impact their lives (Sarker et al., 2008;Mahjabeen et al., 2009;Mensah et al., 2017), community-based participation often suffers from factors such as low levels of financial and institutional support (Deakin and Allwinkle, 2007;Foth et al., 2009;Rinner and Bird, 2009;Stewart and Lithgow, 2015) 1 . Persistent lack of investment contributes to limited efficacy of participatory processes, which in turn has been found to increase certain aspects of urban inequality over time (Einstein et al., 2019;Sideris, 2021). ...
... Research also shows that homeowners and wealthy individuals are more likely to vote for development restrictions. The underlying assumption thereby is that homeowners oppose new developments due to price anxiety (Einstein, 2019;Hankinson, 2018;Marble & Nall, 2021;Trounstine, 2020). As Ansell (2014) argues, homeowners who have experienced higher house prices are also less supportive of redistributive policies and social security policies. ...
... The local level is where an impact may be more likely, but it is also the level where political participation is the least prevalent (Oliver et al., 2012). Low participation in town politics often leads to domination by a concerted minority mobilized by direct self-interest (see an example from housing policy in Einstein et al., 2018). As such, low participation levels may make outcomes unrepresentative of the general populace's will in the town (Fung, 2006). ...
... Countries or cities must learn from one another to understand smart city concepts and the development pathways towards smart cities. The policy transfer or diffusion literature formerly focused on processes between countries or states (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000), while recent studies have turned their attention to active knowledge learning between cities (Einstein et al., 2019;Marsden et al., 2011). For instance, Einstein et al. (2019) investigated policy diffusion across cities based on a survey of US mayors and highlighted that city similarity, distance, and capacity all affect the likelihood of a mayor learning policy information from a particular city. ...
... Many studies have noted the significant behavioral impact of police shootings on American politics. While exploring the circumstances that lead to police stops and shootings (Mummolo, 2018;Streeter, 2019), this literature has established that these events can shift how and whether citizens engage in political activity (Enos, Kaufman, and Sands 2019;Williamson et al., 2018) and with the state itself (Desmond et al., 2016;Weaver, Prowse, and Piston 2020). What is especially notable is the powerful influence of one's racial identity on reactions to police violence (Jefferson, Neuner, and Pasek 2020;McGowen & Wylie, 2020;Peffley and Hurwitz 2007;Weitzer, 2002). ...