Sean Gailmard

734 Barrows Hall
510 642-4677
Office Hours:
By appointment
Sean Gailmard's picture


Research Interests: 
Game theory & formal political theory
Principal-agent theory
Governance of New World empires
Bureaucratic politics & executive branch structure
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology (2002)
M.P.A., Indiana University (1997)
B.S., Indiana University (1996)
Personal Statement: 

Professor Gailmard's curriculum vitae
Professor Gailmard's web site

Professor Gailmard studies how principal-agent problems affect the institutions of government. He has applied this perspective to understand the structure and development of political institutions in the U.S. His research has focused on the tradeoff between expertise and political responsiveness in the bureaucracy, historical development of the executive branch, congressional control of bureaucratic discretion, the internal organization of Congress, and electoral accountability. His current research focuses on the British imperial foundations of American institutions. Previous research has analyzed models of rational choice by non-selfish actors in laboratory experiments on collective decision making. 

Professor Gailmard is the author of Learning While Governing: Expertise and Accountability in the Executive Branch (2012, University of Chicago Press, with John W. Patty), which won the 2013 William H. Riker Prize as the best book in political economy, as well as Statistical Modeling and Inference for Social Science (2014, Cambridge University Press), a Ph.D.-level textbook. He has published research in leading social science journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Politics.


PS231A: Quantitative Analysis in Political Research (Ph.D.)
PS232A: Formal Models in Political Science I (Intro. game theory, Ph.D.)
PS232B: Formal Models in Political Science II (Adv. game theory theory, Ph.D.)
PS239: Formal Models in American Politics (Ph.D.)
PS279: Bureaucratic Politics in the U.S. (Ph.D.)

PS3: Introduction to Empirical Analysis and Quantitative Methods (undergraduate)
PS135: Game Theory in the Social Sciences (undergraduate)


Editor, Formal Political Theory and Methodology, Journal of Politics
Editorial Board, Journal of Public Policy
Editorial Board, Journal of Theoretical Politics
Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Political Science
Editorial Board, Political Science Research and Methods (the Journal of the European Political Science Association)

Co-PI and Co-director, summer institute on Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models, National Science Foundation, 2010-present

Faculty Fellow, Berkeley Center for Empirical Legal Studies, UC Berkeley School of Law
Faculty Affiliate, Institute of Governmental Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Berkeley Center for Political Economy

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