Professor Mark Schneider is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Political Studies at Pitzer College. He studies the micro-foundations of clientelism and distributive politics at the local level with a regional focus on India. His research interests include patronage politics, party-voter linkages, decentralization and local governance, state capacity, and survey methods. Drawing on unique behavioral and experimental measures from cross-referenced elite and voter surveys, his completed research measures the extent to which local politicians know voters’ political preferences, local politicians’ preferences over the beneficiaries of targeted benefits, and the effect of co-partisanship on the allocation of private anti-poverty benefits and local public goods. Each of these articles develops a novel survey design for capturing local dynamics observed in fieldwork. Ongoing work includes a book project that develops an argument for the conditions under which high-information village elections (in contexts of democratic decentralization) encourage political representation, accountability, and pro-poor targeting and a collaborative project on the quality of state institutions across districts in India.
His research has been supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and Pitzer College. Collaborative work has been supported by funding from CASI.