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Keith Krehbiel

Keith   Krehbiel
Professor, Political Economy
Edward B. Rust Professor of Political Science
Robert & Marilyn Jaedicke Faculty Fellow for 2014-2015
Academic Area: 
Political Economy

Research Statement

Keith Krehbiel’s research is on governmental processes (legislative, executive, and judicial) and political parties. He addresses these topics by developing and testing game-theoretic models of collective choice. Krehbiel has published over 50 research articles and two award-winning books: Information and Legislative Organization (Univ. of Michigan Press), and Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking (Univ. of Chicago Press). He is also cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

Research Interests

  • Legislatures, political institutions, governmental processes, philosophy of science, political economy, ethics


Keith Krehbiel is Edward B. Rust Professor of Political Science at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he has taught courses on foundations of political economy, legislative politics, business-government relations, and ethics since 1986. He specializes in political institutions and has published two books and dozens of articles on U.S. politics and governmental processes.  Krehbiel’s first book, Information and Legislative Organization (University of Michigan Press, 1991) presents a comprehensive game-theoretic account of legislative behavior in the presence of uncertainty about the consequences of laws, and reports on a variety of novel empirical tests of the theory. The book received the American Political Science Association’s Richard F. Fenno Prize for best book on legislative studies.  Krehbiel’s second book, Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking (University of Chicago Press, 1998) studies the strategic interaction of U.S. Presidents with the Congress. This book received both the Fenno Prize (for best book on legislative politics) and the Neustadt Prize (for best book on the presidency) from the APSA.

In addition to serving several terms on editorial boards of leading political science journals, Krehbiel (with Nolan McCarty) co-founded and co-edits the Quarterly Journal of Political Science.  Krehbiel has been a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a Guest Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Congressional Fellow in the Senate Republican Leader’s Office, and twice a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.  He received the Sloan Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000, the Distinguished Service Award from the GSB PhD Program in 2007, and the Robert T. Davis Award for Lifetime Achievement on the Stanford GSB Faculty in 2014. 

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, University of Rochester, 1983
  • MA, University of Rochester, 1981
  • MA, University of Kansas, 1979
  • BS, University of Kansas, 1977

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Stanford University since 1986
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, 1995-1996 and 2002-2003
  • Visiting Professor, Princeton University, 2001-2002
  • Guest Fellow, Brookings Institution, 1991
  • National Fellow, Hoover Institution, 1988-1989 and 2011-12
  • Assistant Professor, California Institute of Technology, 1983-1986
  • Lecturer, University of Rochester, 1981-1982

Professional Experience

  • Congressional Fellow, Senate Republican Leader's Office, 1991

Awards and Honors

  • Robert T. Davis Faculty Award for Lifetime Achievement, Stanford GSB 2014
  • Disinguished Service to the PhD Community, Stanford GSB, 2007
  • Sloan Teaching Excellence Award, Stanford GSB, 2000


Journal Articles

Steven Callander, Keith Krehbiel. American Journal of Political Science. October 2014, Vol. 58, Issue 4, Pages 819-834.
Keith Krehbiel. American Journal of Political Science. 2000, Vol. 44, Issue 2, Pages 212-227.
Keith Krehbiel. British Journal of Political Science. 1993, Vol. 23, Issue 2 , Pages 235-266.
Keith Krehbiel. American Political Science Review. 1990, Vol. 84, Issue 1, Pages 149-163.


Keith Krehbiel University of Chicago Press, June 22, 1998.
Keith Krehbiel University of Michigan Press, October 15, 1992.

Working Papers

Gridlock and Delegation in a Changing World | PDF
Steven Callander, Keith Krehbiel2012
Legislative Organization and Ideal-Point Bias | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Zachary Peksowitz2012
Gatekeeping | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Christophe Crombez, Timothy Groseclose2005
Pivots | PDF
Keith Krehbiel2005
Parties in Elections, Parties in Government, and Partisan Bias | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Adam Meirowitz, Thomas Romer2004
Testing Theories of Lawmaking | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Adam Meirowitz, Jonathan Woon2004
Selection Criteria for Roll Call Votes | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Jonathan Woon2002
Institutionalism as a Methodology | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Daniel Diermeier2001
Joseph G. Cannon: Majoritarian from Illinois | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Alan Wiseman2000
Power and Motion to Recommit | PDF
Keith Krehbiel, Adam Meirowitz2000

Courses Taught

Degree Courses


This course critically surveys empirical applications of formal models of collective-choice institutions. It is explicitly grounded in philosophy of science (e.g., Popperian positivism and Kuhn's notions of paradigms and normal science)....


With leadership comes responsibility. This course explores the numerous ethical duties faced by managers and organizations. It combines analytical frameworks with the latest findings on human behavior to inform a wide range of ethical decisions...

This course surveys applications of formal models to several stages of decision making, primarily in the U.S. national government and with an emphasis on the legislative branch. The course begins with explicit consideration of issues in...

Stanford Case Studies

Gilead Sciences (A) The Gilead Access Program for HIV Drugs | P53A
David Baron, Keith Krehbiel, Brian Tayan2007
Gilead Sciences (B) Implementing the Gilead Access Program for HIV Drugs | P53B
David Baron, Keith Krehbiel, Brian Tayan2007
Echelon and the Home Automation Standard (B) | P20B
David Baron, Michael Ting, Keith Krehbiel, Erik Johnson, Daniel P. Kessler1996
Westlands Water District | P15
Keith Krehbiel1994

Service to the Profession

  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Member, American Political Science Association

Insights by Stanford Business

February 3, 2015
A Stanford political economist predicts that the new Republican Congress won’t overcome the “gravitational pull to the center” in U.S. politics.
January 12, 2015
A Stanford professor of political economy finds virtue in filibusters and “unelected bureaucrats.”

School News

June 15, 2000
Faculty member cited for his ability to weave together multiple disciplines.