Kelly's research examines the connections between public opinion, partisan politics, public policy, and economic inequality in the United States and around the world. He is interested in how decisions made by elected leaders affect income inequality and how the preferences of citizens respond to changes in inequality.
In the News
Examines how financial deregulation and the partisan underpinnings of deregulation shaped the path of income inequality in the United States.
Analyzes income share of the top 1 percent in the United States from 1940-2008. Finds that American institutions that make policy change difficult exacerbate inequality, and that status quo bias is more likely to reinforce rising inequality than falling inequality.
Analyzes the level of inequality across U.S. states from 1976-2006. Finds that that the liberalism of state governments is associated with lower levels of inequality, particularly since the devolution of more social welfare policymaking power to the states in the mid-1990s.
Analyzes the response of public opinion to rising inequality. Finds that as inequality increases the liberalism of the public’s mood decreases, thereby making policy action to reduce inequality less likely.