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

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.

Guy GrossmanJeremy WeinsteinChristopher Blair

(2022). “Forced Displacement and Asylum Policy in the Developing World.” International Organization, 2022, 76(2): pp. 337-378.

Little theoretical or empirical work examines migration policy in the developing world. We develop and test a theory that distinguishes the drivers of policy reform and factors influencing the direction of reform. We introduce an original data set of de jure asylum and refugee policies covering more than ninety developing countries that are presently excluded from existing indices of migration policy. Examining descriptive trends in the data, we find that unlike in the global North, forced displacement policies in the global South have become more liberal over time. Empirically, we test the determinants of asylum policymaking, bolstering our quantitative results with qualitative evidence from interviews in Uganda. A number of key findings emerge. Intense, proximate civil wars are the primary impetus for asylum policy change in the global South. Liberalizing changes are made by regimes led by political elites whose ethnic kin confront discrimination or violence in neighboring countries. There is no generalizable evidence that developing countries liberalize asylum policy in exchange for economic assistance from Western actors. Distinct frameworks are needed to understand migration policymaking in developing versus developed countries.