Josh McCrain portrait
  • Director, Policing Accountability and Policy Evaluation Research Lab
  • Assistant Professor, Political Science Department

Research Summary

I study American political institutions, policing, Congress, lobbying, money in politics, media and politics, public policy, and political economy generally. I am also working on manuscripts on computational social science and applied data science using R. My research combines computational social science, causal inference approaches for observational data, and field experiments. I have also published a guide to working with congressional data in R:


  • Ph.D., Political Science, Emory University
  • M.A., Political Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A., Political Science, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Josh McCrain is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Emory University and an M.A. and B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was previously a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University. His research focuses on public policy, political economy, media and politics, and computational social science within American politics. His current projects involve revolving door lobbying, health policy, local media in the United States, and R for data science. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. It has been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, Vox, CNBC, New York Magazine, and Nature Human Behavior. Prior to entering academia, Josh worked in lobbying and advocacy for non-profit organizations in Washington D.C.