Darin Christensen

Darin Christensen

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Science

UCLA, Luskin School of Public Affairs

I study the political economy of conflict and development, focusing on institutions and policies that promote investment and mitigate violence in developing countries. I collaborate on projects with government agencies and international organizations.


  • PhD in Political Science, 2016

    Stanford University

  • MA in Economics, 2016

    Stanford University

  • BA in Political Science, 2008

    Duke University

Working Papers

Citizen Monitoring Promotes Informed and Inclusive Governance of Community Forests in Liberia. Revision Requested, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020.

Legibility and External Investment: An Institutional Natural Experiment in Liberia. Revision Requested, International Organization, 2020.


How Does Armed Conflict Shape Investment? Evidence from the Mining Sector. Revision Requested, Journal of Politics, 2020.


How Budgets Shape Power Sharing in Autocracies. Working Paper, 2020.



Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Accepted, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2020.


Do Commodity Price Shocks Cause Armed Conflict? A Meta-Analysis of Natural Experiments. Accepted, American Political Science Review, 2020.


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


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

PDF Dataset

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

PDF Dataset

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



Tracking Concessions in Sierra Leone

Nationwide census to catalog mining and agricultural concessions.

Correction to Conley Standard Errors

Updated and corrected code for Conley standard errors.

Ongoing Projects

Project on Resources and Governance

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

Managing Forest Resources in Liberia

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

Enabling Local Fiscal Capacity in Colombia

RCT to facilitate the formalization of small businesses.