DAMIEN BOL

Assistant Professor in Political Behavior, King's College London

Department of Political Economy, King's College London. Strand Building. WC2R 2LS London. United Kingdom.

damien.bol@kcl.ac.uk. +4420 7848 7320.


Curriculum Vitae  — Google Scholar Citation Report (Citations > 300, h-index = 7)


I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Economy of King's College London. I received a PhD in political science from the University of Louvain in 2013, and spent a few years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Research Chair in Electoral Studies of the University of Montreal after that.


My research lies at the intersection of political behavior, political economy, and comparative politics. Right now, I'm particularly interested in developing voting experiments as to better understand electoral behavior. Before that, I worked on the consequences of electoral systems (postdoc research agenda), and the causes of electoral reforms (PhD research agenda). Political scientists would say that my approach is rational choice, but economists would say that I'm behavioralist. My work appears in Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, European Union Politics, West European Politics, Party Politics, Political Science Research and Methods , and Political Research Quarterly (among other outlets).


At King’s College London, I teach about elections, comparative politics, and quantitative methods. I'm also Director of the undergrad program in politics.


Working Papers


A Mixed-utility Theory of Vote Choice Regret (with André Blais and Jean-François Laslier).

  1. Summary: We depart from a surprising survey result: an non-negligible proportion of voters declares regretting their vote choice in the week that directly follows the election. We show that this can be rationalized when we consider that voters are maximizing a mixed-utility, composed of both instrumental and expressive benefits. We validate our theory using pre- and post-election panel survey data from Canada.


Does Inequality Harm Democracy? The Inclusion and Representation of the Poor in Europe (with Marco Giani).

  1. Summary: We use coarsened exact matching and survey data from 30 elections and 15  countries (N ≈ 55,000) to evaluate whether (1) the poor vote less than the rich, and (2) whether abstainers would vote differently than the rest of the population if they turned out. We show that there is a severe problem of inclusion of the poor in the electoral process, but that it only affects the representation of the electoral outcome in some of them, and not always in the expected direction.


The Responsiveness of Legislators to Non-Partisan Constituents: A Field Experiment (with Thomas Gschwend, Thomas Zittel, and Steffen Zittlau).

  1. Summary: We report a field experiment for which we sent an information request to German legislators on behalf of a constituent who specifically signalled not being one of their partisans. We find that legislators randomly treated with a demand for personal representation are more responsive than those who receive a demand for party representation, and that this treatment effect is larger among legislators elected in a nominal district.


Voting and Satisfaction with Democracy in Flexible-List PR Systems (with André Blais, Xavier Girard, Lida Nunez, and Jean-Benoit Pilet)

  1. Summary: We use a difference-in-difference design and panel survey data from Belgium to estimate the effect of casting a party-list vote compard to a preference vote for individual candidates in flexible-list PR systems. We find that party-list voters are slightly more satisfied than those voting for winning candidates, and substantially more than those voting for losing candidates. Further, we show that party-list voters are as satisfied as the most satisfied preference voters.