Darin Christensen

Darin Christensen

Associate Professor of Public Policy & Political Science

UCLA, Luskin School of Public Affairs

I am a political scientist interested in related international development problems:

  1. What are the causes and consequences of conflict?
  2. What policies promote stability and the provision of other public goods and services?

My research uses fine-grained, often geo-spatial, data; employs natural or field experiments to identify causal relationships; and applies game-theoretic models to motivate and interpret empirical analysis. I often collaborate with NGOs and government agencies in the Global South.


  • PhD in Political Science, 2016

    Stanford University

  • MA in Economics, 2016

    Stanford University

  • BA in Political Science, 2008

    Duke University

Working Papers

(2024). The Point of Attack: Where and Why Does Oil Cause Armed Conflict in Africa?. R&R, Journal of Politics.


(2024). Interest-based Negotiation over Natural Resources: Experimental Evidence from Liberia. Working Paper.


(2024). Using Machine Learning to Map Artisanal Mining across Five Countries. Working Paper.


(2024). How Budgets Shape Power Sharing in Autocracies. Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

PDF Dataset SI

(2022). How Does Armed Conflict Shape Investment? Evidence from the Mining Sector. Journal of Politics.

PDF Dataset

(2021). Adoption of Community Monitoring Improves Common Pool Resource Management Across Contexts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

PDF Dataset SI

(2021). Citizen Monitoring Promotes Informed and Inclusive Forest Governance in Liberia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

PDF Dataset SI

(2021). Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Quarterly Journal of Economics.

PDF Dataset Policy Brief

(2021). Do Commodity Price Shocks Cause Armed Conflict? A Meta-Analysis of Natural Experiments. American Political Science Review.

PDF Dataset

(2020). Community-based Crisis Response: Evidence from Sierra Leone's Ebola Outbreak. AEA Papers and Proceedings.

PDF Dataset SI

(2016). Measuring the Economic Effect of Alien Tort Statute Liability. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization.

PDF Dataset

(2013). Defunding Dissent: Restrictions on Aid to NGOs. Journal of Democracy.

PDF Dataset

(2013). Labor Standards, Labor Endowments, and the Evolution of Inequality. International Studies Quarterly.


Books &

(2023). Political Economy. In Andrew Rudalevige and Joshua Tucker, A Political Science Experiment. CritReview.



Using IOM Flow Monitoring Data to Describe Migration in West and Central Africa

Who is moving in West and Central Africa and why?

Evaluating Due Diligence Programs for Conflict Minerals

A Matched Analysis of 3T Mines in Eastern DRC

Tracking Concessions in Sierra Leone

Nationwide census to catalog mining and agricultural concessions.

Ongoing Projects

Project on Resources and Governance

Research initiative that applies social science insights to natural resource governance.

Migration in West and Central Africa

Research agenda to understand the determinants and benefits of migration.

Managing Forest Resources in Liberia

RCT to enable citizens’ monitoring and negotiations around communal forests.