Volden’s research examines the way that governments learn from policies found elsewhere. Under which conditions do states, localities, or countries adopt one another’s policies? He also studies the characteristics of effective policymakers. Who are the most effective members of Congress, why, and with what effects? This work has been of interest to citizens and policymakers alike. For example, he has offered advice to the National Association of County and City Health Organizations in the U.S. on ways to better promote the spread of limitations on sugar-sweetened beverages, and has advised the government of New South Wales in Australia on adopting more innovative policies.