Dorothy Kronick

Assistant Professor | Political Science

Dorothy Kronick is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. She studies Latin American political economy, focusing on Venezuela and the politics of crime and policing. Dorothy completed her PhD at Stanford University.

Prior to her doctoral studies at Stanford, Dorothy lived in Caracas as a Fulbright Scholar. Her research has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review and the Journal of Conflict Resolution; her writing on Venezuelan politics has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight, The New Republic, and Caracas Chronicles, among other outlets.

Selected Publications

Nicolás IdroboDorothy KronickFrancisco Rodríguez

(2020). Do Shifts in Late-Counted Votes Signal Fraud? Evidence From Bolivia.  SSRN



Surprising trends in late-counted votes can spark conflict. When late-counted votes led to a narrow incumbent victory in Bolivia last year, fraud accusations followed—with dramatic political consequences. We study the pro-incumbent shift in vote share as the tally progressed, finding that we can explain it without invoking fraud. Two observable characteristics, rurality and region, account for most of the trend. And what looked like a late-breaking surge in the incumbent’s vote share—which electoral observers presented as evidence of foul play—was actually an artifact of methodological and coding errors. Our findings underscore the importance of documenting innocuous explanations for differences between early- and late-counted votes.

Juan Camilo CastilloDorothy Kronick

(August 2020). The Logic of Violence in Drug War. The American Political Science Review, 114(3), 1-14.

Drug traffickers sometimes share profits peacefully. Other times they fight. We propose a model to investigate this variation, focusing on the role of the state. Seizing illegal goods can paradoxically increase traffickers’ profits, and higher profits fuel violence.

Killing kingpins makes crime bosses short-sighted, also fueling conflict. Only by targeting the most violent traffickers can the state reduce violence without increasing supply. These results help explain empirical patterns of violence in drug war, which is less studied than interstate or civil war but often as deadly.

Dorothy Kronick

(April 2020). Profits and Violence in Illegal Markets: Evidence from Venezuela. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 64(7-8), 1499-1523. 

Some theories predict that profits facilitate peace in illegal markets, while others predict that profits fuel violence. I provide empirical evidence from drug trafficking in Venezuela. Using original data, I compare lethal violence trends in municipalities near a major trafficking route to trends elsewhere, both before and after counternarcotics policy in neighboring Colombia increased the use of Venezuelan transport routes.

For thirty years prior to this policy change, lethal violence trends were similar; afterward, outcomes diverged: violence increased more along the trafficking route than elsewhere. Together with qualitative accounts, these findings illuminate the conditions under which profits fuel violence in illegal markets.