Guy Grossman

PDRI-DevLab 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

Yang-Yang ZhouGuy GrossmanShuning Ge

(2023). “Win-Win integration: Learning from Uganda’s response to South Sudanese refugees.” VoxDev

The study asserts that heightened humanitarian aid, coupled with inclusive hosting policies, fosters a mutually beneficial environment for both host and refugee communities. Against a backdrop of growing forced displacement, the inquiry delves into refugee dynamics, often overlooked in high-income settings. Uganda’s inclusive policies, accommodating 1.5 million refugees, provide a compelling case study. Analysis reveals significant improvements in public services, challenging assumptions of anti-refugee backlash. The findings underscore the imperative to sustain inclusive policies amidst funding uncertainties. Lessons gleaned advocate for further research on refugee welfare impacts and a dual focus on host community support, crucial for nurturing cohesive host-refugee relations in an increasingly uncertain landscape.

Guy Grossmanet al.

(2021). “Community policing does not build citizen trust in police or reduce crime in the Global South.” Science, 2021, 374(6571): pp. 1046-1047.

Is it possible to reduce crime without exacerbating adversarial relationships between police and citizens? Community policing is a celebrated reform with that aim, which is now adopted on six continents. However, the evidence base is limited, studying reform components in isolation in a limited set of countries, and remaining largely silent on citizen-police trust. We designed six field experiments with Global South police agencies to study locally designed models of community policing using coordinated measures of crime and the attitudes and behaviors of citizens and police. In a preregistered meta-analysis, we found that these interventions led to mixed implementation, largely failed to improve citizen-police relations, and did not reduce crime. Societies may need to implement structural changes first for incremental police reforms such as community policing to succeed.

Guy GrossmanRobert BlairTravis CurticeDavid Dow

(2022). “Public Trust, Policing, and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from an Electoral Authoritarian Regime.” Social Science and Medicine, 2022, 305: 115045.

We examine how trust shapes compliance with public health restrictions during the COVID- 19 pandemic in Uganda. We use an endorsement experiment embedded in a mobile phone survey to show that messages from government officials generate more support for public health restrictions than messages from religious authorities, traditional leaders, or international NGOs. We further show that compliance with these restrictions is strongly positively correlated with trust in government, but only weakly correlated with trust in local authorities or other citizens. We use measures of trust from both before and during the pandemic to rule out the possibility that trust is a function of the pandemic itself. The relationship between trust and compliance is especially strong for the Ministry of Health and—more surprisingly—the police. We conclude that trust is crucial for encouraging compliance but note that it may be difficult to sustain, particularly in settings where governments and police forces have reputations for repression.