Ken Shotts

The David S. and Ann M. Barlow Professor of Political Economy

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

Graduate School of Business Trust Faculty Fellow for 2013-14

Professor Shotts uses game theory to analyze how elections and political institutions influence policy choices made by government officials. He has published papers on presidential leadership, term limits, racial redistricting, and the politics of regulatory enforcement. He is currently doing research on several topics, including electoral challengers, competitive policy entrepreneurship, and the politics and economics of industry-level self-regulation.

Ken teaches GSB classes on Strategy Beyond Markets and Business Ethics. He also teaches in several Executive Education programs, including the Stanford Executive Program, Executive Program for Strategy and Organization, and Executive Leadership Development.


Kenneth W. Shotts is The David S. and Ann M. Barlow Professor of Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He received his BA in Political Science from Stanford in 1993 and his PhD from the GSB in 1999. In addition to his time at the Stanford, he has taught at Northwestern and the University of Michigan, and has been a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution and Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Academic Degrees

PhD, Stanford University, 1999, BA, 1993.

Professional Experience

At Stanford since 2003. Visiting Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton, 2002–03; Asst. Prof., Northwestern Univ., 1998–2003.

Selected Publications

  • A Signaling Model of Repeated Elections: Social Choice and Welfare, 2006
  • The Conditional Nature of Presidential Responsiveness to Public Opinion: American Journal of Political Science, 2004
  • Does Racial Redistricting Cause Conservative Policy Outcomes? Policy Preferences of Southern Representatives in the 1980s...: The Journal of Politics, 2003
  • Gerrymandering, Legislative Composition, and National Policy Outcomes: American Journal of Political Science, 2002
  • The Butterfly Did It: The Aberrant Vote for Buchanan in Palm Beach County, Florida: American Political Science Review, 2001
  • Leadership and Pandering: A Theory of Executive Policymaking: American Journal of Political Science, 2001

Selected Cases

  • P74: Health Care Reform: 2009-2010
  • P73: Wastewater Recycling: Public Relations for a Controversial Technology

Courses Taught