Keith Krehbiel

Edward B. Rust Professor of Political Science

Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences

Phone: (650) 723-2855


Academic Areas: Political Economy

Keith Krehbiel’s research is on political parties, lobbying, and governmental processes (legislative, executive, and judicial). 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.


Keith Krehbiel is Edward B. Rust Professor of Political Science at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he has taught courses on foundations of political economy, legislative behavior, business-government relations, and ethics since 1986. He specializes in American politics 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. The book also 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 the U.S. President and Congress. This book received both the Fenno Prize (for best book on legislative politics) and the Neustadt Prize (for best book on the presidency).

In addition to serving several terms on editorial boards of leading political science journals, 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, and he received the Sloan Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000. In 2005, with Nolan McCarty, Krehbiel cofounded the Quarterly Journal of Political Science for which he and McCarty are Editors-in-Chief.

Academic Degrees

PhD, Univ. of Rochester, 1983; MA, Univ. of Rochester, 1981; BS, Univ. of Kansas, 1977; MA, Univ. of Kansas, 1979.

Professional Experience

At Stanford since 1986.

Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study, 2002-03 and 1995-96; Visiting Professor at Princeton University, 2001-02; Brookings Guest Fellow, 1991; Hoover National Fellow, 1988-89; Asst. Prof., California Institute of Technology, 1983-86; Lecturer, Univ. of Rochester, 1981-82.

Selected Publications

  • Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking: University of Chicago Press, 1998
  • Information and Legislative Organization: University of Michigan Press, 1991
  • Party Discipline and Measures of Partisanship: American Journal of Political Science, 44:212-227, 2000
  • Where's the Party?: British Journal of Political Science, 23:235-266, 1993
  • Are Congressional Committees Composed of Preference Outliers?: American Political Science Review, 84:149-163, 1990

Working Papers

  • 1942: Supreme Court Appointments as a Move-the-Median Game
  • 1943: Selection Criteria for Roll Call Votes
  • 2100: Gridlock and Delegation in a Changing World
  • Legislative Organization
  • 1243: Golden Parachutes, Rubber Checks, and Strategic Retirements from the 102nd House
  • 1244: Deference, Extremism, and Interest Group Ratings
  • 1245: On Testing Theories of Leaders and Institutions: A Re-examination of the 1987 Smoking Ban on Domestic Flights
  • 1246: The Gains from Exchange Hypothesis of Legislative Organization
  • 1270: A Theory of Divided and Unified Government
  • 1643: Joseph G. Cannon: Majoritarian from Illinois
  • 1644: Domestic Discretionary Appropriations, 1950-1999 Here's the President. Where's the Party?
  • 1645: Power and Motion to Recommit
  • 1646: The Coefficient of Party Influence
  • 1678: Plausibility of Signals by a Heterogeneous Committee
  • 1699: Institutionalism as a Methodology
  • 1858: Joe Cannon and the Minority Party: Tyranny or Bipartisanship?
  • 1859: Macro Politics and Micro Models: Cartels and Pivots reconsidered
  • 1860: Testing Theories of Lawmaking
  • 1861R1: Gatekeeping
  • 1862: Parties in Elections, Parties in Government, and Partisan Bias
  • 1865R1: Pivots
  • 1870R1: Partisan Roll Rates in a Nonpartisan Legislature

Selected Cases

  • P15: Westlands Water District
  • P53B: Gilead Sciences (B): Implementing the Gilead Access Program for HIV Drugs
  • P53A: Gilead Sciences (A): The Gilead Access Program for HIV Drugs
  • P20B: Echelon and the Home Automation Standard (B)
  • P3A: Manufacturing Politics (A): Baby Bells and the Modified Final Judgment
  • P3B: Manufacturing Politics (B): Integrated Strategies
  • P9A: Like A Rock? (A): General Motors in the Eye of the Media
  • P9B: Like A Rock? (B): GM's Strategy after Dateline

Awards and Honors

  • Sloan Teaching Excellence Award, 2000

Courses Taught

  • POLECON 682: Testing Models of Governmental Decision-Making


In The Media

  • Keith Krehbiel Named to the Edward B. Rust Professorship