Kenneth Scheve is Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute. His research interests are in the fields of international and comparative political economy and comparative political behavior with particular interest in the behavioral foundations of the politics of economic policymaking. His research has been published in numerous leading scholarly journals and has been recognized for a number of awards and grants including the Michael Wallerstein Award, the Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award, the David A. Lake Award, and Robert O. Keohane Award.

Scheve is the author, with David Stasavage, of Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe which examines the role of fairness concerns in the politics of progressive taxation from the early 19th century through contemporary debates. Scheve is also the author, with Matthew Slaughter, of Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers, examining American public opinion about the liberalization of trade, immigration, and foreign direct investment policies. His current research projects examine how people and places adjust to large-scale economic change. This research includes comparative studies examining opinion formation about tax policy, trade policy, local development policy, and international environmental cooperation as well as work on the political origins of changes in wealth inequality in the 19th and 20th century.

Scheve received his PhD from Harvard University and his BA from the University of Notre Dame. He has been a visiting scholar at the Bank of England, London School of Economics, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2012, he taught at the University of Michigan and at Yale University.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, The Europe Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (2013 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • David A. Lake Award for best paper presented at the IPES annual meeting, International Political Economy Society (2017)
  • Hoagland Award Fund for Innovations in Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford University (2014)
  • Michael Wallerstein Award for best article published in political economy, American Political Science Association (2012)
  • Honorable Mention for best paper in Political Economy, Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (2010)
  • Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award, American Political Science Association (2007)
  • Robert O. Keohane Award, International Organization (2004)
  • Toppan Prize for best dissertation on the subject of political science, Harvard University (2001)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Bank of England (2000-2001)
  • Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (1999-2000)
  • MacArthur Fellowship in Transnational Security, MacArthur Foundation (1998-1999)
  • Mellon Dissertation Research Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (1998)
  • Derek Bok Certificate of Distinction for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University (1997)
  • Graduate Fellowship, National Science Foundation (1995-1998)
  • Richard Neustadt Prize Fellow, Harvard University (1994-1995)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa (1990)
  • Weber Economics Award, University of Notre Dame (1990)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Associate Editor, International Organization (2017 - Present)
  • Associate Editor, Economics & Politics (2017 - Present)
  • Annual Meeting Section head, Political Economy, American Political Science Association (2014)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Politics (2014 - Present)
  • Political Science Network Editor, International Political Economy: Trade Economy (2013 - Present)
  • Political Science Advisory Panel, National Science Foundation (2011)
  • Editorial Board Member, International Organization (2010 - 2015)
  • Steering Committee, International Political Economy Society (2010 - 2015)
  • Political Science Network Advisory Board, International Political Economy (2010 - 2013)
  • Selection Committee, APSA Political Economy Section’s Michael Wallerstein Award (chair) (2008)
  • Selection Committee, Best Dataset in Comparative Politics (2007)
  • Selection Committee, MPSA Westview Press Award (2007)
  • Editorial Board Member, World Politics (2007 - 2012)
  • Political Science Advisory Panel, National Science Foundation (2007 - 2008)
  • Annual Meeting Section Head for Comparative Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies, American Political Science Association (2006)
  • Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Political Science (2006 - 2009)
  • Annual Meeting Section Head for International Political Economy, Midwest Political Science Association (2005)
  • Member, Laboratory in Comparative Ethnic Processes (2003 - 2006)
  • Member, American Economic Association (2001 - Present)
  • Member, European Union Studies Association (1999 - Present)
  • Member, Midwest Political Science Association (1996 - Present)
  • Member, American Political Science Association (1996 - Present)

Program Affiliations

  • Program in International Relations

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Political Science (2000)
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame, Economics (1990)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

International and comparative political economy and comparative political behavior.


  • Mass Politics of Taxation


    United States, France

  • Climate Change and Public Opinion


    France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States

  • Social Norms in Representative Samples


    France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States

  • Economic Origins of Authoritarian Values, Stanford University


    United Kingdom

Stanford Advisees

  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Elisabeth van Lieshout
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    William Marble
  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Aala Abdelgadir
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Austin Peters, Theo Serlin, Christina Toenshoff, Bradford Waldie

All Publications

  • How to Save Globalization Rebuilding America's Ladder of Opportunity FOREIGN AFFAIRS Scheve, K. F., Slaughter, M. J. 2018; 97 (6): 98-+
  • Inequality and redistribution behavior in a give-or-take game PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bechtel, M. M., Liesch, R., Scheve, K. F. 2018; 115 (14): 3611–16


    Political polarization and extremism are widely thought to be driven by the surge in economic inequality in many countries around the world. Understanding why inequality persists depends on knowing the causal effect of inequality on individual behavior. We study how inequality affects redistribution behavior in a randomized "give-or-take" experiment that created equality, advantageous inequality, or disadvantageous inequality between two individuals before offering one of them the opportunity to either take from or give to the other. We estimate the causal effect of inequality in representative samples of German and American citizens (n = 4,966) and establish two main findings. First, individuals imperfectly equalize payoffs: On average, respondents transfer 12% of the available endowments to realize more equal wealth distributions. This means that respondents tolerate a considerable degree of inequality even in a setting in which there are no costs to redistribution. Second, redistribution behavior in response to disadvantageous and advantageous inequality is largely asymmetric: Individuals who take from those who are richer do not also tend to give to those who are poorer, and individuals who give to those who are poorer do not tend to take from those who are richer. These behavioral redistribution types correlate in meaningful ways with support for heavy taxes on the rich and the provision of welfare benefits for the poor. Consequently, it seems difficult to construct a majority coalition willing to back the type of government interventions needed to counter rising inequality.

    View details for PubMedID 29555734

  • The Structure of American Income Tax Policy Preferences JOURNAL OF POLITICS Ballard-Rosa, C., Martin, L., Scheve, K. 2017; 79 (1): 1-16

    View details for DOI 10.1086/687324

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392495900017

  • Interests, Norms, and Support for the Provision of Global Public Goods: The Case of Climate Cooperation BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Bechtel, M., Genovese, F., Scheve, K. 2017
  • Self-Centered Inequity Aversion and the Mass Politics of Taxation COMPARATIVE POLITICAL STUDIES Lu, X., Scheve, K. 2016; 49 (14): 1965-1997
  • Technology and the Era of the Mass Army JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORY Onorato, M. G., Scheve, K., Stasavage, D. 2014; 74 (2): 449-481
  • Mass support for global climate agreements depends on institutional design PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bechtel, M. M., Scheve, K. F. 2013; 110 (34): 13763-13768


    Effective climate mitigation requires international cooperation, and these global efforts need broad public support to be sustainable over the long run. We provide estimates of public support for different types of climate agreements in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Using data from a large-scale experimental survey, we explore how three key dimensions of global climate cooperation-costs and distribution, participation, and enforcement-affect individuals' willingness to support these international efforts. We find that design features have significant effects on public support. Specifically, our results indicate that support is higher for global climate agreements that involve lower costs, distribute costs according to prominent fairness principles, encompass more countries, and include a small sanction if a country fails to meet its emissions reduction targets. In contrast to well-documented baseline differences in public support for climate mitigation efforts, opinion responds similarly to changes in climate policy design in all four countries. We also find that the effects of institutional design features can bring about decisive changes in the level of public support for a global climate agreement. Moreover, the results appear consistent with the view that the sensitivity of public support to design features reflects underlying norms of reciprocity and individuals' beliefs about the potential effectiveness of specific agreements.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1306374110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323271400031

    View details for PubMedID 23886666

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3752231

  • Inequity Aversion and the International Distribution of Trade Protection AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Lu, X., Scheve, K., Slaughter, M. J. 2012; 56 (3): 638-654
  • Democracy, War, and Wealth: Evidence from Two Centuries of Inheritance Taxation AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Scheve, K. F., Stasavage, D. 2012; 106 (1): 82-102
  • The Conscription of Wealth: Mass Warfare and the Demand for Progressive Taxation INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION Scheve, K., Stasavage, D. 2010; 64 (4): 529-561
  • Social Identity, Electoral Institutions and the Number of Candidates BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Dickson, E. S., Scheve, K. 2010; 40: 349-375
  • Individual Preferences over High-Skilled Immigration in the United States Skilled Immigration Today: Prospects, Problems, and Policies Hanson, G., Scheve, K., Slaughter, M. J. Oxford University Press. 2009: 207–243
  • Religion and Social Insurance: Evidence from the United States, 1970-2002 Divide and Deal: The Politics of Distribution in Democracies Scheve, K., Stasavage, D. New York University Press. 2008
  • Estimating the effect of elite communications on public opinion using instrumental variables AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Gabel, M., Scheve, K. 2007; 51 (4): 1013-1028
  • A new deal for globalization FOREIGN AFFAIRS Scheve, K. F., Slaugbter, M. F. 2007; 86 (4): 34-?
  • Mixed messages - Party dissent and mass opinion on European integration EUROPEAN UNION POLITICS Gabel, M., Scheve, K. 2007; 8 (1): 37-59
  • Public Finance and Individual Preferences over Globalization Strategies ECONOMICS AND POLITICS Hanson, G. H., Scheve, K. F., Slaughter, M. J. 2007; 19 (1): 1-33
  • The political economy of religion and social insurance in the United States, 1910-1939 STUDIES IN AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT Scheve, K., Stasavage, D. 2006; 20 (2): 132-159
  • Religion and preferences for social insurance QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Scheve, K., Stasavage, D. 2006; 1 (3): 255-286
  • Public Opinion, International Economic Integration, and the Welfare State Globalization and Egalitarian Redistribution Scheve, K., Slaughter, M. J. Princeton University Press. 2006: 217–260
  • Social identity, political speech, and electoral competition JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL POLITICS Dickson, E. S., Scheve, K. 2006; 18 (1): 5-39
  • Foreign Direct Investment and Labour Market Outcomes The Internationalisation of Asset Ownership in Europe Scheve, K., Slaughter, M. J. Cambridge University Press. 2005
  • Economic insecurity and the globalization of production AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Scheve, K., Slaughter, M. J. 2004; 48 (4): 662-674
  • Public inflation aversion and the political economy of macroeconomic policymaking INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION Scheve, K. 2004; 58 (1): 1-34
  • Immigration and the US Economy: Labour-Market Impacts, Illegal Entry, and Policy Choices IMMIGRATION POLICY AND THE WELFARE SYSTEM Hanson, G., Scheve, K., Slaughter, M., Spilimbergo, A. Oxford University Press. 2002: 169–285
  • What determines individual trade-policy preferences? JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS Scheve, K. F., Slaughter, M. J. 2001; 54 (2): 267-292
  • Analyzing incomplete political science data: An alternative algorithm for multiple imputation AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW King, G., Honaker, J., Joseph, A., Scheve, K. 2001; 95 (1): 49-69
  • Labor market competition and individual preferences over immigration policy REVIEW OF ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS Scheve, K. F., Slaughter, M. J. 2001; 83 (1): 133-145
  • Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers Slaughter, M. J., Scheve, K. F. Peterson Institute for International Economics. 2001
  • Public Attitudes About Inflation: A Comparative Analysis BANK OF ENGLAND QUARTERLY BULLETIN Scheve, K. 2001; 41 (3): 283-294
  • Electoral surprise and the midterm loss in US congressional elections BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Scheve, K., Tomz, M. 1999; 29: 507-521
  • Interstate competition and welfare policy PUBLIUS-THE JOURNAL OF FEDERALISM Rom, M. C., Peterson, P. E., Scheve, K. F. 1998; 28 (3): 17-37