Nations

Jennifer M. Nations

San Diego SSN Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California San Diego

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About Jennifer

Nations focuses her research on redistribution via education. She is interested in how voters and elected officials are influenced by racial inequalities and the nature of organizations as they make decisions about education funding. Nations currently serves as the Postdoctoral Fellow on the Democracy Project at UC San Diego, a research group studying voter support for municipal tax reform.

In the News

"California Recall Candidate Kevin Faulconer Wants To Tackle Homelessness. What Did He Do As San Diego’s Mayor?," Jennifer M. Nations, Interview with Chris Nichols, Capradio, July 24, 2021.
"My Turn: Here's Where Gas Tax Repeal Would Hurt the Most," Jennifer M. Nations, CALMatters, September 20, 2018.

Publications

"Resisting the Market University: Political Challenges to the Locus of Authority in Public University Tuition Policy" Social Science History 42, no. 3 (2018): 575-600.

Discusses how public university boards determine tuition levels for college students in every state but New York and Florida. Argues that structural features of states and universities created beliefs about the types of policies that were appropriate in a given state, ultimately constraining politicians' decisions and leading them to reject the devolution of tuition authority to university boards.

"Racial Context and Political Support for California School Taxes" (with Isaac William Martin). Social Science Quarterly (2020).

Employs panel regression models to a data set of California school districts. Tells that school boards were least likely to propose new parcel taxes where there was a high percentage of Latinx students or a large gap between the percentage of white students and the percentage of white residents 65 and older. 

"How Austerity Politics Led to Tuition Charges at the University of California and City University of New York" History of Education Quarterly 61, no. 3 (2021).

Tells the story of how decades-old no-tuition policies at the University of California and The City University of New York (CUNY) were reversed in the 1970s. Mentions how no-tuition policies became targets of neoconservative critiques of the proper role of government support for public services. Discusses how no-tuition policies became impossible to defend in the context of the stalled economy and growing conservative movement, whose members embraced government austerity.

"Taxation and Citizen Voice in School District Parcel Tax Elections" (with Isaac W. Martin). Sociological Science (2018).

Shows that voters are more likely to approve local school taxes if the policy is written to require citizen-state consultation on how the funds are spent. Provides evidence that citizens may trade increased taxation for increased voice even within an established democracy.