King Center on Global Development
James Madison Professor of Political Economy
Léonard Wantchékon is the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University, as well as associated faculty in economics.
A scholar with diverse interests, Wantchékon has made substantive and methodological contributions to the fields of political economy, economic history and development economics, and has also contributed significantly to the literatures on clientelism and state capture, resource curse and democratization.
He has implemented pioneering studies on political institutions and governance, using field experiments with real politicians competing in real elections to investigate the effects of broad-based policy messages and deliberative campaign strategies on voting behavior and election outcomes. His current work along these lines applies the methodology of institutional experiments to study candidate selection in local elections, bureaucratic governance and the politics of education policies.