Nicholas W. Carnes

Nicholas W. Carnes

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Internal Office Address: 
227 Sanford Building, Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708-0245

Nick Carnes joined the faculty at the Sanford School in July 2011. He is a political scientist whose research focuses on American politics, economic and social class inequality, political representation, legislative decision making, and urban politics. Carnes is currently working on a book that examines how the shortage of people from working-class backgrounds in American legislatures skews the policymaking process towards outcomes that are more in line with the upper class's economic interests. He is also beginning a large-scale investigation of the factors that discourage working-class citizens from holding political office and the programs that could help to address longstanding inequalities in the class composition of American policymaking institutions. (On leave, fall 2015)


  • Ph.D., Princeton University 2011
  • M.A., Princeton University 2008
  • A.B., University of Tulsa 2006

Carnes, N. "Who votes for inequality?." Congress and Policy Making in the 21st Century. February 15, 2016. 106-134. Full Text

Hansen, ER, Carnes, N, and Gray, V. "What Happens When Insurers Make Insurance Laws? State Legislative Agendas and the Occupational Makeup of Government(Accepted)." State Politics and Policy Quarterly (January 1, 2018). Full Text

Carnes, N. "Adam Smith would be spinning in His Grave: Government by the rich in the United States." Forum (Germany) 15.1 (April 1, 2017): 151-165. (Review) Full Text

Carnes, N, and Lupu, N. "Do voters dislike working-class candidates? Voter biases and the descriptive underrepresentation of the working class." American Political Science Review 110.4 (November 1, 2016): 832-844. Full Text

CARNES, NICHOLAS, and HANSEN, ERICR. "Does Paying Politicians More Promote Economic Diversity in Legislatures?." American Political Science Review 110.04 (November 2016): 699-716. Full Text

Carnes, N. "White-Collar Government in the United States." Swiss Political Science Review 21.2 (June 2015): 213-221. Full Text

Carnes, N, and Lupu, N. "Rethinking the Comparative Perspective on Class and Representation: Evidence from Latin America." American Journal of Political Science 59.1 (January 2015): 1-18. Full Text

Bellemare, MF, and Carnes, N. "Why do members of congress support agricultural protection?." Food Policy 50 (January 1, 2015): 20-34. Full Text

Carnes, N, and Lupu, N. "Rethinking the comparative perspective on class and representation: Evidence from latin america." American Journal of Political Science 59.1 (2015): 1-18. Full Text


Carnes, N, and Lupu, N. "What Good Is a College Degree? Education and Leader Quality Reconsidered.": University of Chicago Press, January 2016. Full Text