John Holbein


John Holbein is a graduate of Brigham Young University, having received a B.A. in Political Science in 2011, and is a PhD Candidate at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy (expected May 2016). While at Duke, he worked under the direction of Sunshine Hillygus, Helen "Sunny" Ladd, Jacob Vigdor and Nicholas Carnes. His dissertation -- Making Good Citizens: Policy Approaches to Increasing Civic Participation -- explores several public policies' impacts on voter turnout. His work has been, or will soon be, published in the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science. His most recent project, which he will continue to work on while at CSDP, examines the role that psychosocial skills play in determining whether citizens vote. Psychosocial skills (sometimes called "non-cognitive" skills) are the teachable human attributes that are not captured by standard measures of cognitive ability. These skills include the general motivations, abilities, and attitudes involving self-regulation and sociability. John’s work uses a unique combination of school administrative data, longitudinal surveys starting in childhood, and randomized-control childhood interventions to show that children who develop psychosocial skills are much more likely to vote in adulthood than those that do not.

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