Jacob Bower-Bir

Joint Public Policy Ph.D. 2014

Photo of Jacob Bower-Bir
(317) 332-9073
IU Bloomington


  • Ph.D., School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 2014
  • BA, summa cum laude, Political Science, Economics, History, Indiana University, 2007


  • Lecturer, Political Science Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2015-present
  • Affiliated Faculty, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, 2014-present
  • GK Consulting, Governance Specialist, 2014-present
  • Governance Commission of Liberia, Research Associate, 2009
  • William Bianco, Indiana University, Research Assistant, 2007-13
  • Liberian Collections Project, Research Assistant, 2007-08

Courses Taught

  • Statistical Analysis (V506) IUPUI Adjunct Faculty 2013
  • The Politics of Sustainability (Y200) Instructor 2010–11
  • The American Presidency (Y380) Instructor 2011
  • Analyzing Politics (Y205) Associate Instructor 2010
  • The Holocaust and Politics (Y352) Associate Instructor 2009
  • Introduction to American Politics (Y103) Associate Instructor 2009, ‘12
  • Politics of Gender and Sexuality (Y353) Associate Instructor 2008
  • Introduction to Microeconomics (E201) Undergraduate Intern 2005–07

Research Interests

Institutional analysis and evolution, economic inequality, market failures, behavioral economics and politics, experimental design, education policy, moral and political philosophy


“What We Deserve: The Moral Origins of Economic Inequality and Our Policy Responses to It”
Committee: Elinor Ostrom (deceased), Edward Carmines, William Bianco, Stephen Benard, David Reingold, Bradley Heim

Grants & Funding

  • John H. Edwards Fellowship, IU Graduate School 2013–14
  • Social Science Research Commons Research Grant 2013–14
  • Sustainability Development Research Grant, IU Office of Sustainability 2013–14
  • Ostrom Workshop Research Grant 2014
  • Katharine Greenough Fellowship 2011–14
  • Political Economy in Democratic Sustainability Fellowship 2009–11
  • Graduate Student Leadership Award, IU Dept. of Political Science 2009, ‘12
  • Sustainability Course Development Fellowship 2010
  • Indiana University International Enhancement Grant 2009
  • Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis Fellowship 2007–08
  • Stephen R. Patton Scholarship Award in Political Science 2007
  • James E. Moffat Scholarship Recognition Award in Economics 2007
  • Jacob and Lucy Listenfelt Memorial Scholarship Award in History 2006
  • Hutton Honors College Research Grant 2006
  • Indiana Scholars Award 2006–07
  • Indiana Residence Freese Scholarship 2006–07
  • Indianapolis Children’s Museum Guild Scholarship 2004


  • American Political Science Association annual meeting
  • “The Role of Morality in Economic Redistribution” 2014
  • “Heuristics and Sophistication in the Voting Booth” 2012
  • Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting
  • “Desert and Voluntary Redistribution” 2014
  • “Hail the Meritocrat: Faith & Fairness in the American Economy” 2013
  • “Heuristics and Sophistication in the Voting Booth” 2012
  • “Voting: See It Now in Two Dimensions” 2011
  • Workshop in Political Theory and Public Policy
  • What We Deserve: Economic Justice and Redistribution 2014
  • Constitutions & Education: Building & Burning Bridges in Burma 2008
  • Choosing Your Public: A Look at Charter Schools and Exclusion 2007
  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • “Constitutional Structure in Sustainable Collaborations” 2010
  • Jordan River Economic Conference
  • “When Schools Compete” 2007