David W. Brady

Professor Emeritus, Political Economy
+1 (650) 723-9702

David W. Brady

Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus

Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at SIEPR, and of Political Science, Emeritus
Academic Area:

Research Statement

David Brady’s research focuses on the American Congress, the party system, and public policy. He is at present working on a book on the electoral base of party parity in the United States and its effects on polarization and gridlock in the policy arena. He has published eight books and more than 100 papers in journals and books. Among his most recent publications are Leadership and Growth (World Bank Publications, 2010) coedited with Michael Spence, Revolving Gridlock: Politics and Policy from Carter to Bush II (Westview Press, 2006), and Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics with Pietro Nivola (Brookings Institution Press, 2007).


Brady began his teaching career at Kansas State University in 1970, from there moved to Houston, Texas, where he taught at both the University of Houston and Rice University. In 1981, he was named Autry Distinguished Professor of Social Science at Rice University. In 1986, he moved to Stanford University with a joint appointment in Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Political Science Department at Stanford University. While at Stanford, he has served as associate dean for academic affairs in Stanford GSB and as vice provost for distance learning at Stanford University. He has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. He presently is the Davies Family Senior Fellow, Emeritus of the Hoover Institution.

Brady’s teaching focuses on nonmarket strategy for corporations and ethical applications in building quality companies. In addition to his business school teaching, he also teaches an undergraduate course in public policy. He won the Dinkelspiel Award for service to undergraduates, the Richard Lyman Prize for service to alumni, the Bob Davies Award and Silver Apple Award (now called the Robert K. Jaedicke Faculty Award) from Stanford GSB and the first Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award given at Stanford. Brady has been on continuing appointment at Stanford University since 1987. He was associate dean from 1997 to 2001 at Stanford University; a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from 1985 to 1986 and again from 2001 to 2002; and the Autrey Professor at Rice University, 1980 to 1987.

His research focuses on the ties between elections, institutions (especially legislatures) and public policies. This work includes studies of American political history and comparative studies of Britain, Ireland, Korea, and Japan. His most recent project is a project on political responses to the second great transformation of the global economy.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, University of Iowa, 1970
  • MA, University of Iowa, 1967
  • BS, Western Illinois University, 1963

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford since 1987
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 2001–02
  • Business School Trust Faculty Fellow, Stanford University, 1991–92
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, 1985–86
  • Autrey Professor, Rice University, 1980–87
  • Associate Professor–Professor, University of Houston, 1972–79
  • Assistant Professor, Kansas State University, 1969–72
  • C.I.C. Scholar, University of Michigan, 1964–65

Awards and Honors

  • Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2000
  • Silver Apple Award, Stanford Graduate School Business, 1997
  • Phi Beta Kappa Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford, 1991


Journal Articles

Aldo Paparo, Lorenzo De Sio, David W. Brady
Electoral Studies
February 2020 Vol. 63
David W. Brady, John A. Ferejohn, Aldo Paparo
Italian Political Science Review
January 23, 2020 Pages 1–24
Hahrie Han, David W. Brady
British Journal of Political Science
2007 Vol. 37 Issue 3 Pages 505 - 531
David W. Brady, Hahrie Han, Jeremy C. Pope
Legislative Studies Quarterly
2007 Vol. 32 Issue 1 Pages 79–105
Brandice Canes-Wrone, David W. Brady, John F. Cogan
American Political Science Review
2002 Vol. 96 Issue 1 Pages 127-140


David W. Brady, A. Michael Spence
World Bank

Book Chapters

David W. Brady, Brett Parker
Developments in American Politics 8 (8th Edition)
January 2018
David W. Brady, Hahrie Han
Political Polarization in American Politics
2015 Pages 137–143
David W. Brady
Political Polarization in American Politics
2015 Pages 115–119
David W. Brady, Hahrie Han
Red and Blue Nation
2006 Vol. 1

Working Papers

Stanford Case Studies

Glenn Carroll, Debra Schifrin, David Brady
David Brady, Vish Narain
David Brady, Erik Budde
David Brady, Karen Jacobson

Service to the Profession

  • Faculty Advisor, Public Management Program, 1998–present
  • Vice President, American Political Science Association, 1995–present
  • Acting Vice Provost, Learning Technologies and Extended Education, 1990–91

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business

October 19, 2022
Stanford GSB faculty and alumni discuss ways citizens, leaders, and organizations can begin to bridge the political gap. (Part 2)
October 15, 2020
From smarter polling to growing distrust in government, a political economist lays out what you should expect this November.
July 14, 2017
Job automation and rising tensions in the labor force will bring even more volatility in the future, says political economist David Brady.
July 06, 2017
Will Republican leaders continue to tolerate the outlier President? David Brady, Professor of Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business says yes... for now.
March 17, 2017
Political economist David Brady talks party polarization, third-party chances, and what to expect in 2018.
September 30, 2016
A Stanford scholar examines how we got to Trump and Clinton, who will likely win, and what it means for our future.
March 02, 2012
Professor David Brady explained to an alumni audience how the “Guns and Butter” model of predicting elections tells just part of the story.
February 01, 2008
The Stanford GSB Alumni Association's Lifelong Learning program and Stanford Law School sponsored the discussion led by Professor David Brady.
March 01, 2005
Business is not only an economic, but also a social institution that should be used to solve some of the world's most difficult challenges, said Joss.

School News

October 12, 2022
“I craved becoming a message-maker rather than a messenger.”
June 01, 2011
Neale is the 13th recipient and first woman to receive the Davis Award for lifetime achievement by a faculty member.
March 01, 2003
A past associate dean, Professor Brady was honored with the Robert T. Davis Award recognizing extraordinary lifetime contributions to Stanford GSB.