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Nov. 9 | Experimental Design Workshop: James Chu (Stanford) and Maria Snegovaya (Columbia)

  • 501D Knox Hall | Columbia University 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)
James Chu (left) and Maria Snegovaya (right)

James Chu (left) and Maria Snegovaya (right)

WHEN: Friday, November 9, 2018, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

WHERE: Knox Hall 501D, 606 W 122nd Street

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome!

An Engine of Inequality? How Class Background Shapes Consumer Use of Educational Rankings

James Y. Chu, Sociology, Stanford

Proponents of educational rankings suggest that rankings increase opportunities for traditionally disadvantaged groups by equalizing information about higher education opportunities. I propose a series of experiments that explore an alternative hypothesis: rankings may incentivize students from lower status backgrounds to differentially apply to lower-ranked schools, thus equalizing access to information but paradoxically increasing stratification.

James Chu is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Stanford University. Prior to Stanford, James managed randomized controlled trials for the Rural Education Action Program.

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The ex-Communist Left Parties’ Choices and the Success of the Populist Right

Maria Snegovaya, Political Science, Columbia

What explains the proletarization (the increasing embrace by the blue-collar constituencies) of the radical right vote in the countries of post-Communist Europe? I argue that the electoral success of the radical right parties is explained by the economic policy choices of the ex-Communist left parties. I test my argument by running an experimental survey data within Hungary. By showing that the centrist shift of the ex-Communist left parties along the economic policy dimension boosts the support for the radical right party, my experiment contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of political systems and the rise of the radical right parties in Europe.

Maria Snegovaya is a Ph.D. candidate at the Political Science department at Columbia, and a Research Associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland. The key focus of Maria’s research is the democratic backsliding and the spread of populist and radical right actors across Europe


Through the Experimental Design Workshop, social scientists at Columbia have the opportunity to workshop the design of an experiment they have not yet fielded. Presenters will receive specific, actionable feedback on that design from other workshop participants. For inquiries about the Experimental Design Workshop Series, please contact Daniel Tadmon ( or Maria Abascal (

Funding support for the Experimental Design Workshop is provided by the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, administered by INCITE, which features events and programming that embody and honor Lazarsfeld’s commitment to the improvement of methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

If you are interested in joining the workshop's email list, please contact Daniel Tadmon (