Kevin M.


Kevin M. Morrison

Assistant Professor
3218 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Faculty website
Curriculum vitae


  • PhD, Political Science, Duke University, 2007
  • MA, Economics, Duke University, 2004
  • MS, Development Studies, London School of Economics, 1997
  • BA, Political Science, Emory University, 1995


I am an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh, where I teach classes on game theory and the political economy of developing countries. My research focuses on nontax revenues in developing countries, such as oil revenues, foreign aid, and intergovernmental grants. I am also a principal investigator of the Global Leadership Project. My work has been published in Business & Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Development Policy Review, Electoral Studies, International Organization, Public Choice, and the World Bank Research Observer, as well as edited volumes.  My article in International Organization won the 2009 Robert O. Keohane award for best paper in that journal by an untenured professor. I have previously held positions at Cornell University and Princeton University.

In addition to my academic work, I maintain an interest in communicating academic ideas to a policy-oriented audience. I am one of 55 "Delphi Fellows" chosen from across all scientific disciplines to advise the website bigthink.com, which attempts to convey signficant ideas to a large readership. I have also been a Fellow at the Overseas Development Council (ODC) and consulted for the World Bank and the Center for Global Development.  While at ODC, I co-authored (with Ravi Kanbur and Todd Sandler) The Future of Development Assistance: Common Pools and International Public Goods (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), and was a member of the core team of authors of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000/01: Attacking Poverty, writing the chapters on the international actions necessary for poverty reduction.  I have also been a member of the Africa Task Force, a group of policymakers and academics co-directed by Kwesi Botchwey and Joseph Stiglitz at Columbia University’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue. My opinions or commentary have appeared in The Durham Herald-Sun, The Financial Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Raleigh News & Observer, and Slate.com.

Teaching & Research Area

Political Economy of Development; Democratization; Natural Resource Revenues; Foreign Aid; Latin America; Africa; Research Methods

Select Publications and Funded Research

  • “What Can We Learn About the ‘Resource Curse’ from Foreign Aid?”  World Bank Research Observer 27(1): 52-73, 2012.
  • “When Public Goods Go Bad: The Implications of the End of the Washington Consensus for the Study of Economic Reform.”  Comparative Politics 44(1): 105-122, 2011.
  • “As the World Bank Turns: IDA Lending in the Cold War and After.”  Business & Politics 13(2), Article 2, 2011.
  • “Nontax Revenue, Social Cleavages, and Authoritarian Stability in Mexico and Kenya: ‘Internationalization, Institutions, and Political Change’ Revisited.”  Comparative Political Studies 44(6): 719-46, 2011.
  • “Oil, Nontax Revenue, and the Redistributional Foundations of Regime Stability”.  International Organization 63:107-38, 2009.
  • “Natural Resources, Aid, and Democratization: A Best-Case Scenario.”  Public Choice 131: 365-38, 2007.
  • “Inequality and Deliberative Development: Revisiting Bolivia’s Experience with the PRSP” (with Matthew M. Singer).  Development Policy Review 25(6): 721-740, 2007.

Consultancies, Public Service, and Awards/Honors

  • Delphi Fellow, bigthink.com (2011)
  • Robert O. Keohane Award, for best article in International Organization in 2009 by an untenured scholar (“Oil, Nontax Revenue, and the Redistributional Foundations of Regime Stability”)
  • Non-resident Fellow, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (2007)
  • Consultant for Center for Global Development (2004)
  • Core Team of Authors, World Bank's World Development Report 2000/01: Attacking Poverty


  • Dictators and Democrats in Latin America
  • Political Applications of Game Theory
  • Political Economy of Development

Other Faculty and Academic Administration Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Government, Cornell University, 2008-2012.
  • Fellow, Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, Princeton University, 2007-08



Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260