Saad Gulzar's research asks under what conditions can representative government – one that provides equality of voice and influence – improve people’s lives? His work brings evidence from a number of South Asian contexts – Pakistan, India, and Nepal, home to a quarter of the world’s population – to show that those not considered traditionally elite are in fact equally, if not more, capable of competent governance. I demonstrate that incorporating non-elite – and therefore, more representative – voices in government robustly improves policy.

He works closely with politicians, political parties, bureaucrats, and government agencies, and strives to make these collaborations meaningful for research and policy. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Journal of Development Economics, and Journal of the European Economic Association. Prior to joining Princeton, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Politics at New York University in 2017.

Selected Publications

  • “Do Campaign Contribution Limits Curb the Influence of Money in Politics?” (forthcoming) American Journal of Political Science, with Miguel R. Rueda and Nelson A. Ruiz 

  • “How Campaigns Respond to Ballot Position: A New Mechanism for Order Effects” (2022) Journal of Politics, 84(2) with Thomas S. Robinson and Nelson A. Ruiz

  • "Information, Candidate Selection, and the Quality of Representation: Evidence from Nepal” (2021) Journal of Politics, 83(4) with Zuhad Hai and Binod Kumar Paudel

  • “Who Enters Politics and Why?” (2021) Annual Review of Political Science, Vol 24, pp. 253-275

  • “Does Political Affirmative Action Work, & For Whom? Theory & Evidence on India’s Scheduled Areas” (2020) American Political Science Review, 114(4), with Nicholas Haas and Benjamin Pasquale

  • "Data and Policy Decisions: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan” (2020) Journal of Development Economics, 146, with Michael Callen, Ali Hasanain, Muhammad Yasir Khan, and Arman Rezaee

  • “Can Political Alignment be Costly?” (2020) Journal of Politics, 82(2), with Michael Callen and Arman Rezaee

  • “Political Identity: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan” (2020) Journal of the European Economic Association, 18(5), with Leonardo Bursztyn, Michael Callen, Bruno Ferman, Ali Hasanain, and Noam Yuchtman

  • “Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Development: Evidence from India” (2017) American Political Science Review, 111(1), pp. 162-183, with Benjamin J. Pasquale 

Selected Awards

  • Stanford Impact Lab Design Fellow, 2021

  • Lawrence Longley Award for best article published on Representation & Electoral Systems, American Political Science Association, 2020

  • The Paul A. Sabatier Award for best conference paper on Science, Technology, & Environmental Politics, American Political Science Association, 2020

  • Best Dissertation Award, Experimental Research Section, American Political Science Association, 2018

  • Best Paper Award, Quality of Government Institute, Gothenburg University, 2017