Guy Grossman

PDRI Academic Director, Professor | Political Science

Guy Grossman is a Professor of Political Science. His research is in applied political economy, with a substantive focus on governance, political accountability, international migration and trafficking, and conflict processes. He is the founder and academic director of PDRI as well as a member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network and faculty affiliate of Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) Penn’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration (CSERI) and Penn’s Identity & Conflict (PIC) Lab.

Grossman has designed and carried out field studies in sites across Africa, in collaboration with various international agencies, including the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, the US Agency for International Development, and as well as with African governments and local non-governmental organizations.

Grossman’s work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, and Journal of Politics, among other journals. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University (2011, with distinction), as well as MA in Political Philosophy and LLB in Law both from Tel-Aviv University.

Selected Publications

Michael AlbertusGuy Grossman

(2021). “The Americas: When Do Voters Support Power Grabs?” Journal of Democracy 32(2) 116–31.

This article examines the nature of democratic fragilities in the Americas through survey experiments in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Encouragingly, strong majorities of citizens recognize violations of democratic principles, laws, and norms. Moreover, how incumbents justify anti-democratic actions has little impact on how citizens view them.

Yet there are minorities, ranging from 10 to 35 percent of the population, who support efforts to erode democracy. And partisanship matters: Many individuals are seemingly “conditional democrats” who support anti-democratic actions if they voted for the incumbent. People are also reluctant to support impeachment for democratic violations, which creates an opening that would-be authoritarians can exploit.

Christopher BlairGuy GrossmanJeremy Weinstein

(2020). “Liberal Displacement Policies Attract Forced Migrants in the Global South.” Working Paper

Most forced migrants around the world are displaced within the Global South. We study whether and how de jure policies on forced displacement effect where the developing world forced migrants to flee. Recent evidence from the developed world suggests migrants gravitate toward liberal policy environments.

However, existing analyses presume de jure policies have little effect in the developing world, given strong presumptions that policy enforcement is poor and policy knowledge is low. Using original data on de jure displacement policies for 92 developing countries, we document a robust association between liberal de jure policies and forced migrant flows.

The gravitation toward liberal environments is conditional on factors that facilitate the diffusion of policy knowledge, such as transnational ethnic kin. Policies for free movement, services, and livelihoods are especially attractive. Utility-maximizing models of migrant decision-making must take de jure policy provisions into account.

Gemma DipoppaGuy GrossmanStephanie Zonszein

(2021). “Locked Down, Lashing Out: Situational Triggers and Hateful Behavior Towards Minority Ethnic Immigrant.” Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) Working Papers 23, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

COVID-19 caused a significant health and economic crisis, a condition identified as conducive to stigmatization and hateful behavior against minority groups. It is however unclear whether the threat of infection triggers violence in addition to stigmatization, and whether a violent reaction can happen at the onset of an unexpected economic shock before social hierarchies can be disrupted.

Using a novel database of hate crimes across Italy, we show that (i) hate crimes against Asians increased substantially at the pandemic onset, and that (ii) the increase was concentrated in cities with higher expected unemployment, but not higher mortality. We then examine individual, local and national mobilization as mechanisms. We find that (iii) local far-right institutions motivate hate crimes, while we find no support for the role of individual prejudice and national discourse.

Our study identifies new conditions triggering hateful behavior, advancing our understanding of factors hindering migrant integration.