Thomas M. Flaherty

Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science

University of California, San Diego




About me


I am a Ph.D. Candidate and NSF Graduate Fellow in the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego. My research in International Political Economy explores geographic mobility and its consequences for globalization backlashes.


My job market paper uses machine learning and big data to generate one of the first measures of individual geographic mobility. I show that the ability to relocate is one of the most important predictors of voting and trade policy preferences, and that it helps resolve a long-standing debate over the importance of self-interest. This supports my new theoretical framework that specifies conditions under which voters depend on their local economies. Other work applies this political economy of place to re-think important questions:

(i) do immigration and trade drive populism (in International Organization);

(ii) how does globalization affect domestic political conflict (book project);

(iii) does inequality increase support for redistribution (working paper)?


I have published related articles in International Organization, Economics & Politics, and The Review of International Organizations. My research is generously supported by the National Science Foundation, the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the Yankelovich Center, and the San Diego Fellowship.


I received my B.A. in political science from UCLA in 2014. I spent three years as a student lobbyist and advocate for issues such as affordable education and the California DREAM Act. I grew up partly in California and the Philippines. I proudly represent my mixed Filipino heritage as the first in my family to attend college. I enjoy surfing, climbing, and very spicy food.


Email: t1flaher@ucsd.edu

ORCID iD