Welcome to my research page. As you can see, my interests vary widely, but one common theme that runs through much of my research is the use of quantitative methodological tools to study U.S. politics in historical and comparative perspective.


Representation Without Parties: Congress, Public Opinion, and the Selectoral Connection in the One-Party South
(Winner of the 2014 Walter Dean Burnham Award for best dissertation in the field of Politics and History)
My dissertation, which I am currently revising into a book, examines the causes and consequences of ideological diversity among Southern Democrats in Congess and of their rightward migration from New Dealers to pivotal centrists. I draw on evidence from a wide range of sources, including data on public opinion and Democratic primary elections as well as historical accounts and archival sources, and I apply Bayesian measurement models to construct new measures of the policy preferences of members of Congress and their constituents. I argue that, contrary to received wisdom, competition in congressional primaries compensated for the absence of partisan competition, inducing a qualified but real electoral connection between voters and candidates. As a consequence, Southern senators and representatives responded to the preferences of the eligible electorate, and for the white public, congressional representation operated about as effectively in the South as in the rest of the nation. By linking Southerners' behavior in Congress with the evolving preferences of their electorates, my findings offer an explanation for the South's pivotal position in mid-century national politics and for the unusually low levels of congressional polarization during this period. Further, by distinguishing the effects of disenfranchisement in the South from the effects of one-partyism, they also suggest an important amendment to the conventional wisdom that effective representation requires partisan competition.

A draft of my book manuscript can be found here.



  1. Devin Caughey, Christopher Warshaw, and Yiqing Xu. Forthcoming. “Incremental Democracy: The Policy Effects of the Partisan Composition of State Government.” Journal of PoliticsPaper | Replication Files
  2. Devin Caughey, Allan Dafoe, and Jason Seawright. 2017. “Nonparametric Combination (NPC): A Framework for Testing Elaborate Theories.” Journal of Politics 79(2). Paper | R Package "NPC"
  3. Devin Caughey and Christopher Warshaw. 2016. “The Dynamics of State Policy Liberalism, 1936–2014.” American Journal of Political Science 60 (4): 899–913. Paper | Replication Files
  4. Devin Caughey and Eric Schickler. 2016. “Substance and Change in Congressional Ideology: NOMINATE and Its Alternatives.” Studies in American Political Development 30 (October): 1–19. Paper
  5. Allan Dafoe and Devin Caughey. 2016. “Honor and War: Southern U.S. Presidents and the Effects of Concern for Reputation.” World Politics 68(2): 341–381. Paper | Replication Files
  6. Caughey, Devin and Christopher Warshaw. 2015. “Dynamic Estimation of Latent Opinion Using a Hierarchical Group-Level IRT Model.” Political Analysis 23(2): 197–211. Paper | Replication Files | R Package "dgo" | Example Vignettes
  7. Rosa Arboretti, Eleonora Carrozzo, and Devin Caughey. 2015. “A Rank-based Permutation Test for Equivalence and Non-inferiority.” Italian Journal of Applied Statistics 25 (1): 81–92. Paper
  8. Caughey, Devin, and Jasjeet S. Sekhon. 2011. “Elections and the Regression Discontinuity Design: Lessons from Close U.S. House Races, 1942–2008.” Political Analysis 19(4): 385–408. Paper | Replication Files
    • Winner of the Warren Miller Prize and the Political Analysis Editors' Choice Award.
    • Reprinted in Robert J. Franzese, ed. 2015. Quantitative Research in Political Science. SAGE.
  9. Schickler, Eric, and Devin Caughey. 2011. “Public Opinion, Organized Labor, and the Limits of New Deal Liberalism, 1936–1945.” Studies in American Political Development 25(2): 162–189. Paper

In Progress