Kimberlee Chang
Ph.D. Candidate • Public Policy and Methodology

Major Field: Public Policy

Minor Field: Methodology

Research Interests: Development Policy, Identity Politics, Inclusion and Equity, Local Politics, Natural Resource Management, Social Psychology, Applied Methods

Research Experience:

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Fall 2018 – Present 
  • Graduate Research Assistant, for Dr. Rober Wyrod, CU Boulder, 2020-present
  • Graduate Research Assistant, for Dr. Krister Andersson, CU Boulder, 2016-present.
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Center for Experimental Social Sciences- Nuffield and FLAME University, Summer, 2017

Teaching Experience:

  • Teaching Assistant, Quantitative Research Methods PSCI 2075, Spring 2021, for Dr. Andrew Philips
  • Teaching Assistant, Intro to International Relations PSCI 2223, Fall 2020, for Dr. Jaroslav Tir
  • Teaching Assistant, Advanced Political Data Analysis (Graduate Seminar) PSCI 7095, Spring 2018 for Dr. Andrew Philips
  • Teaching Assistant, Intro to International Affairs IAFS 100, Fall 2017, for Dr. David Bearce
  • Teaching Assistant, Intro to International Relations PSCI 2223, Fall 2016, for Dr. Aysegul Aydin

Dissertation Title: Taking culture seriously: A behavior-based framework for achieving inclusive governance

Dissertation Committee: Krister Andersson (chair), Carew Boulding, Jennifer Wolak

Dissertation Description: 

Equality is a fundamental normative goal in the development sector; It is also instrumental for achieving collective action. Ways to design policies that effectively enhance inclusion in local governance are increasingly relevant with the trend of devolving central government governance responsibilities. Common way to facilitate inclusive governance is through institutional interventions such as legislated quotas in decision-making bodies, or less formal participatory development guidelines. However, evaluations of these interventions at the local level show inconclusive results, and field observations often note the importance of local culture-- social roles, norms and attitudes—in determining how these institutional rules actually play out on the ground. My dissertation presents a framework for assessing contexts and designing long-term interventions for inclusive governance that is built on behavioral and social psychological theories. The framework allows for adequate considerations of how norms and attitudes interact with institutional attributes for different actors, and long- and short-term feedback processes. I first use large scale opinion surveys to demonstrate why cultural norms are more important and stickier in localized communities. I then demonstrate an application of the framework through assessing quota-based interventions among forest-dependent communities in Tanzania, Peru and Indonesia. I show that local norms of women’s authority moderate the effect that levels of descriptive representation has on satisfaction with village inclusion, but through different pathways for different members of the community.

Expected Defense Date: April 2022


  • Andersson, Krister P., Kimberlee Chang, and Adriana Molina-Garzón. "Voluntary leadership and the emergence of institutions for self-governance." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117.44 (2020): 27292-27299.
  • Chang, Kimberlee, and Krister P. Andersson. "Contextual factors that enable forest users to engage in tree-planting for forest restoration." Land Use Policy (2019): 104017.

Works In Progress (see website for additional papers): 

  • Chang, Kimberlee. “Invisible forms of power in descriptive representation: How local culture produces paradoxical effects of quotas among female representatives and the general public.” (Presented at Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference 2021, and IASC Polycentricity conference 2021).
  • With Adriana Molina-Garzon. “Does the governance network structure matter for self-governance efficacy? A common-pool resource lab experiment” (Presented at the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Annual Conference, Lima, Peru, July 2019).
  • With Komal Preet Kaur and Krister Andersson. "Collective Forest Land Rights Facilitate Prosocial Behavior". (Presented at IASC Forest Commons Conference, September 2021)


  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Fall 2018 – Present
  • ICPSR Summer Program William G. Jacoby Scholarship (Causal Inference and Multilevel modeling), June 2018 (~ $5000 USD)
  • Center for Experimental Social Sciences- Nuffield and FLAME University Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, June-July 2017(~ $1300 USD)
  • Other internal university grants: Institute of Behavioral Science small research grants ($300 USD); CARTSS research grant ($1000 USD); department Small Research Grants ($300 USD), and travel grants; UGGS travel Grant; Graduate school travel grants