Stephen Ansolabehere
Alma materHarvard University (Ph.D., 1989)
Awards1996 Goldsmith Book Prize with Shanto Iyengar
Scientific career
FieldsPolitical science
InstitutionsHarvard University
ThesisThe limits of PAC power: campaign fundraising and congressional policy-making (1989)

Stephen Daniel Ansolabehere /ænˌsɒləbəˈhɛər/ is a professor of government at Harvard University.


Ansolabehere received his B.A. in political science and B.S. in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1984, and his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard in 1989.[1]


From 1989 to 1993, Ansolabehere served as an assistant professor in the University of California, Los Angeles' department of political science.[1] He became an associate professor of political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995, and Elting R. Morison Professor of Political Science there in 1998. He held this position from 1998 until joining the faculty of Harvard in 2008.[2]


Ansolabehere is known for his research on multiple aspects of elections in the United States, including public opinion, mass media, and representation.[3] In 2003, he published a paper arguing that in the United States, people and corporations tend to consider donating money to be an inefficient way of influencing politicians. The same paper argued that most people who donate to a politician do so because they genuinely support the politician's cause, and because donating to support their preferred politician makes them feel good,[4] and that campaign spending as a percentage of GDP may have actually declined in the previous 100 years.[5]

Honors and awards

In 1996, Ansolabehere received the Goldsmith Book Prize for the book Going Negative, which he co-authored with Shanto Iyengar.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Stephen Daniel Ansolabehere CV" (PDF). Harvard University. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Lavoie, Amy (7 February 2008). "Stephen Ansolabehere appointed professor of government at FAS". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Stephen Ansolabehere". Harvard University. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (7 December 2014). "Who Wants to Buy a Politician?". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  5. ^ Porter, Eduardo (29 August 2012). "Unleashing the Campaign Contributions of Corporations". New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2016.