Julia Payson is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at New York University. She received her PhD in political science from Stanford University in 2017. Her research interests include elections, representation, accountability, and public service provision in state and local governments in the U.S. Her first book, When Cities Lobby, explores how cities seek to shape state politics through lobbying and documents the effects of this behavior on municipal inequality. Her research has appeared or is forthcoming at Legislative Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Politics, and The American Political Science Review.
While at CSDP, Julia will begin work on her second book manuscript, a joint project with Maria Carreri (UCSD) that examines how the managerial practices used by mayors and city managers shape governance outcomes at the local level. This project develops a novel measure of managerial effectiveness that relies on in-depth phone surveys in which interviewers ask local officials open-ended questions about their policy goals, operational knowledge, and performance monitoring strategies. The responses are combined with city financial and demographic data and case studies to assess whether the management styles of local leaders matter for city policy priorities and service provision. This study will provide one of the most comprehensive analyses to date on how local officials approach the day-to-day of managing their cities and will contribute to a longstanding debate over how much individual leaders matter for government performance.