Public Policy Dissertations


One of the most important requirements of the Public Policy PhD Program is the completion of a dissertation: an original empirical project that makes a substantive contribution to knowledge about public policy.

The student's dissertation work is supervised by a primary advisor and a doctoral committee who are responsible for approving the research proposal, overseeing the data collection and analysis, and reviewing the written draft of the dissertation. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal, a doctoral student achieves candidacy for the PhD degree.

The completed dissertation must be approved by the program's doctoral committee and an oral defense must be successfully presented before the PhD degree is conferred.

For titles of completed and in-progress dissertations, please visit our PhD Student Profiles and Alumni Profiles pages.

Dissertation Policies and Procedures

For details on how to form a dissertation committee, deadlines and other policies related to your dissertation, please see our Student Handbook. (PDF)

Other Dissertation resources

Full text versions of all the dissertations are available via the University's Deep Blue service.

Public Policy & Economics

Student NameDissertation Title
Abarcar, PaoloEssays on the Economics of International Migration and Return.
Beam, EmilyInformation and Labor Markets in the Philippines.
Broussard, Nzinga HarrietEssays in Labor and Development Economics.
Fitzpatrick, AnneThree Essays in Health and Development.
Garlick, RobertEssays in Development Economics and Econometrics.
Godlonton, SusanThree Essays on Job Trainee and Employee Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Malawi.
Goldberg, Jessica AnnExperimental Evidence about Earning, Saving, and Borrowing Money in Rural Malawi.
Goldstein, Daniel AaronThree Essays on the Objective Function in Economics.
Hernández, Mónica The Role of Out of School Factors on Student Performance and Educational Attainment.
Hyman, JoshuaThree Essays on the Economics of Education
Johnson, Erik PaulThree Essays in Environmental Economics and Applied Econometrics.
Lim, KatieThree Essays on Female Self-Employment.
Matsudaira, Jordan DThree Essays in Education and Labor Economics.
McLaren, ZoeEssays on Labor Market Outcomes in South Africa.
Montgomery, NicholasEssays on Public Finance and Time Use.
Murphy, DanielModeling Demand in International and Macro Economics.
Nunn, Ryan DouglasThree Essays on Estimation with Unpriced Amenities.
Pounder, LaurieLife-cycle Consumption Examined.
Ratner, David DiamondThree Essays on the U.S. Labor Market: Macroeconomic Trends and Cycles.
Resch, Alexandra MargaretThree Essays on Resources in Education.
Streich, FrancieOnline Education in Community Colleges: Access, School Success, and Labor-Market Outcomes.
Theoharides, CarolineThree Essays on the Economics of International Migration.
Thompson, HopeThe Expansion of Renewable Energy Technologies and Their Impact on Household Energy Portfolios and Sustainable Development: A Study Of Nepal
Toohey, DesmondThree Essays in the Economics of Unemployment and Aging.
Tulayasathien, SorapholEssays on International Taxation.
Walsh, F G EliasThree Essays on the Economics of Education and Labor Economics

Public Policy & Political Science

Student NameDissertation Title
Barnes, CarolynPolitical Learning Revisited:  How Nonprofit Service Provision Shapes Political Participation Among the Poor.
Benstead, Lindsay JoyDoes Casework Build Support for a Strong Parliament? Legislative Representation and Public Opinion in Morocco and Algeria.
Bray, JannaThe Local Politics of Muslim Immigration.
Brown, Ashley ReidCoffee Shop Conversations: An Exploration of How Local Elected Officials Develop and Engage Their Social Networks.
Demessie, Menna AkliluNavigating the Boundaries of Blackness: Congressional Caucuses U.S. Foreign Policy and African Affairs.
Ellis, CaliTrust and Communication in Cross-Border Counterterrorism Networks.
Gause, LaGinaThe Advantage of Disadvantage; Legislative Responsiveness to Collective Action by the Politically Marginalized.
Gong, Abe W.What Theories of Political Participation Can Teach Us about the Blogosphere, and Vice Versa.
Helfstein, Scott AdamPredispositions and Foreign Policy Surprises: Assessing the Impact of Rational and Biased Beliefs on Strategic Decision-Making.
Hemphill, PortiaRebel Without a Pause: Discovering the Relationship between Rap Music and the Political Attitudes and Participation of Black Youth.
Howard, Tiffiany OraState Pressures and the Forced Migrant: Evaluating Global State Failure in an Effort to Ameliorate the Consequences of Forced Migration in the Developing World.
Kabo, ValentaThe Political Economy of Property Rights: An Examination Into the Components of Land Laws and Their Effects on Politics and Growth.
Katz, Daniel MPerspectives on Law and Legal Institutions as Complex Adaptive Systems.
Kavanagh, Jennifer ErinThe Dynamics of Protracted Terror Campaigns: Domestic Politics, Terrorist Violence, and Counterterror Responses.
Loftis, Kenyatha VauthierProprietary Threat and the Participation Paradox in Gifted and Talented Education: A Multi-level Mixed Methods Theory of Resource Distribution.
McGee, HeatherWater, International Development and Collective Action: An Impact Assessment of an Irrigation Management Project in Southern Kyrgyzstan.
Okwuje, Ifeoma M FAnalysis of the Contribution of the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to Women's Rights: Statistical Findings and Country Cases.
Phinney, Robin LindenDiverse Interest Group Coalitions and Social Welfare Policy in the United States.
Phoenix, DavinAnger (Mis)Management? Racial Differences in the Emotional Foundations of Political Action.
Potter, RachelWriting the Rules of the Game:  The Strategic Logic of Agency Rulemaking.
Ravanilla, NicoEssays in Political Economy and Governance: Lessons from the Philippines.
Reynolds, MollyExceptions to the Rule: Majoritarian Procedures and Majority Party Power in the United States Senate.
Stephens, Lafleur NadiyahThe Effectiveness of Implicit and Explicit Racial Appeals in a "Post-Racial" America.
Teodoro, Manuel PBureaucratic Ambition: Professional Careers, Personal Motives, and Policy Innovation.
Tkacheva, OlesyaFederalism and Democratic Consolidation in Russia and Beyond.
Ullah, Haroon KTug of Faith: Understanding the Emergence and Success of Islamic Parties.

Public Policy & Sociology

Student NameDissertation Title
Cheng, SiweiUnequal Origins, Unequal Trajectories: Social Stratification over the Life Course.
Dinzey, Zaire ZenitFighting Crime, Constructing Segregation: Crime, Housing Policy, and the Social Brands of Puerto Rican Neighborhoods.
Forbes, Melissa KayClimate Change 'Resolution:' Dynamics of Shareholder Engagement between U.S. Firms and Investors.
Greenman, Emily KateIntersecting Inequalities: Four Essays on Race, Immigration, and Gender in the Contemporary United States.
Grieger, Lloyd DaleThree Essays Examining the Behavioral and Socioeconomic Transition to Adulthood in the United States and Africa: Evidence from Longitudinal Studies.
Harris, Angel LuisDo African Americans Really Resist School: An In-Depth Examination of the Oppositional Culture Theory.
Hevenstone, DebraLabor Market Inequality and Atypical Employment.
Johnson, Maria SThrough a Daughter's Eyes: Understanding the Influence of Black Fathers on Their Daughters' Conceptualizations of Fatherhood and Womanhood.
Killewald, Sasha  (Achen)What Money Buys and Family Costs: Three Papers on the Work-Family Intersection.
King, Katherine EBiological, Psychosocial, and Social Capital Implications of the Neighborhood Built Environment.
Lewis, Ronald L'HeureuxEducational Inequality in an Affluent Setting: An Exploration of Resources and Opportunity.
Liu, AiranFamily SES, Non-cognitive Skills and Achievement Inequality in Children's Early Life
Morrell, EricaThe Politics of Food Policy: Knowledge, Power, and Participation in two American Cities
Paul, Anju MaryMultinational Maids: Multistate Migration among Aspiring Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers.
Pavelle, Bridget JenniferLife Course Transitions and Instability in Health Insurance Coverage.
Peachey, EverettState Sponsored Political Socialization and Public Diplomacy Exchange Program Outcomes: The Case of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program
Perez, Anthony DMuddy Waters: The Fluidity and Complexity of Racial and Ethnic Identification in the U.S.
Pineda, DanielaA Federal Intervention to Improve Latino College Participation: Evidence from the Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.
Roberts, Christopher NigelExploring Fractures within Human Rights: An Empirical Study of Resistance.
Ross, Karen ElizabethCharter Schools and Segregation: The Cases of Michigan and North Carolina.
Seefeldt, Kristin SThree Essays on Women Low-wage Work and Economic Well-being.
Sternthal, Michelle JThe Social Determinants of Health Disparities: The Role of Social and Temporal Contexts.
Wyse ,Jessica JasmineRace, Gender and the Administration of Justice in a Community Corrections System.
Yarger, Jennifer Lyn EckermanThree Essays Examining Social Determinants of Fertility Attitudes and Behavior: Evidence from Longitudinal Studies.
Zelner, Jonathan LeighIntegrating Social and Biological Processes of Infectious Disease Transmission at Three Levels: Household, Community and Region.

To read dissertations in full, submitted in partial fulfillment of the doctoral program at the University of Michigan, visit the University's Deep Blue collection, which also includes dissertations written by U-M faculty.


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