Bio


Michael Tomz is the William Bennet Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development, and the Landreth Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Tomz has published in the fields of international relations, American politics, comparative politics, and statistical methods. He is the author of Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries and numerous articles in political science and economics journals.

Tomz received the International Studies Association’s Karl Deutsch Award, given to a scholar who, within 10 years of earning a Ph.D., has made the most significant contribution to the study of international relations. He has also won the Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or applying qualitative methods; the Jack L. Walker Award for the best article on Political Organizations and Parties; the best paper award from the APSA section on Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior; the best paper award from the APSA section on Experimental Research; and the Okidata Best Research Software Award. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation.

Tomz has received numerous teaching awards, including the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Cox Medal for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research. In 2017 he received Stanford’s highest teaching honor, the Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching. He founded and continues to direct the Summer Research College program for undergraduates in political science.

Tomz holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University; a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar; and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, and the International Monetary Fund.

Professional Education


  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, International Relations (1992)
  • M.Phil., University of Oxford, Politics (1994)
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Political Science (2001)

Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Nandita Balakrishnan, Lindsay Hundley, Nathan Lee, Rachel Myrick, Benjamin Schaftel, Neil Snyder, Elisabeth van Lieshout
  • Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
    Mariya Grinberg
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Adina Abeles
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Feyaad Allie, Nathan Fleischaker, Leah Matchett, Matthew Ribar
  • Postdoctoral Research Mentor
    Mariya Grinberg

All Publications


  • Does Private Regulation Preempt Public Regulation? AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Malhotra, N., Monin, B., Tomz, M. 2019; 113 (1): 19–37
  • Why Don't Trade Preferences Reflect Economic Self-Interest? INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION Rho, S., Tomz, M. 2017; 71: S85-S108
  • Conditional Cooperation and Climate Change COMPARATIVE POLITICAL STUDIES Tingley, D., Tomz, M. 2014; 47 (3): 344-368
  • Public Opinion and the Democratic Peace AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Tomz, M. R., Weeks, J. L. 2013; 107 (4): 849-865
  • Empirical Research on Sovereign Debt and Default ANNUAL REVIEW OF ECONOMICS, VOL 5 Tomz, M., Wright, M. L. 2013; 5: 247-272
  • International Finance Handbook of International Relations Tomz, M. edited by Carlsnaes, W., Risse, T., Simmmons, B. New York: Sage. 2012; 2nd: 692–719
  • Sovereign Theft: Theory and Evidence about Default and Expropriation The Natural Resources Trap: Private Investment without Public Commitment Tomz, M., Wright, M. edited by Hogan, W., Sturzenegger, F. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 2010
  • The Electoral Implications of Candidate Ambiguity AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Tomz, M., Van Houweling, R. P. 2009; 103 (1): 83-98
  • The Foundations of Domestic Audience Costs: Attitudes, Expectations, and Institutions Kitai, Seido, Gurobaru-shakai (Expectations, Institutions, and Global Society) Tomz, M. edited by Kohno, M., Tanaka, A. Tokyo: Keiso-Shobo. 2009: 85–97
  • Candidate positioning and voter choice AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW Tomz, M., Van Houweling, R. P. 2008; 102 (3): 303-318
  • Do we really know that the WTO increases trade? Comment 8th Annual Conference of the International-Society-for-New-Institutional-Economics Tomz, M., Goldstein, J. L., Rivers, D. AMER ECONOMIC ASSOC. 2007: 2005–18
  • Domestic audience costs in international relations: An experimental approach INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION Tomz, M. 2007; 61 (4): 821-840
  • Do countries default in "bad times"? 21th Annual Congress of the European-Economic-Association Tomz, M., Wright, M. L. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2007: 352–60
  • Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt across Three Centuries Tomz, M. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2007
  • Institutions in International Relations: Understanding the effects of the GATT and the WTO on world trade Annual Meeting of the American-Political-Science-Association Goldstein, J. L., Rivers, D., Tomz, M. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS. 2007: 37–67
  • How does voting equipment affect the racial gap in voided ballots? AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Tomz, M., Van Houweling, R. P. 2003; 47 (1): 46-60
  • Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results Journal of Statistical Software Tomz, M., Wittenberg, J., King, G. 2003; 8 (1)
  • Relogit: Rare Events Logistic Regression Journal of Statistical Software Tomz, M., King, G., Zeng, L. 2003; 8 (2)
  • Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics Tomz, M., Wittenberg, J., King, G. 2003; 12 (1): 245–246
  • Relogit: Rare Events Logistic Regression Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics Tomz, M. 2003; 12 (1): 246–247
  • An Easy and Accurate Regression Model for Multiparty Electoral Data Political Analysis Tomz, M., Tucker, J., Wittenberg, J. 2002; 10 (1): 66–83
  • Making the most of statistical analyses: Improving interpretation and presentation AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE King, G., Tomz, M., Wittenberg, J. 2000; 44 (2): 347-361
  • Modern Political Economy and Latin America: Theory and Policy Tomz, M. edited by Frieden, J., Pastor, M., Tomz, M. Boulder: Westview Press. 2000
  • Electoral surprise and the midterm loss in US congressional elections BRITISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Scheve, K., Tomz, M. 1999; 29: 507-521
  • The long-run advantages of centralization for collective action: A comment 54th Annual Meeting of the Midwest-Political-Science-Association Schwartz, E. P., Tomz, M. R. CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS. 1997: 685–93