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Hajnal is a scholar of racial and ethnic politics, urban politics, immigration, and political behavior. Hajnal is the author of a range of books and articles on partisan politics, voter turnout, minority representation, and local spending. Hajnal has published in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and numerous other journals, edited volumes, and newspaper editorial pages. He has received numerous honors for his research and writing including the Best Book on Race Ethnicity, the Best Book on Urban Politics, and the Best Paper on Urban Politics (all from the American Political Science Association). He has received a number of fellowships including a Center for Comparative Immigration Studies Fellowship, a Center for the Study of Democratic Politics Fellowship, and a Chris and Warren Hellman Fellowship. His research has been funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. Prior to taking his position at UCSD, he served as a Research Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and as a legislative assistant in Canadian Parliament.
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Finds Democratic party control of the state house reduces gender inequality.
Discusses how counties with higher non-White voters in a state that enacted strict voter ID laws show decreased turnout compared to counterparts in states that did not enact strict voter ID laws.
Matches individual spending preferences in 11 policy areas with actual federal spending to see whose preferences are realized. Finds that race, more regularly than class, shapes government responsiveness. Finds that Democratic Party control eliminates most of the racial bias in responsiveness.
Provides an authoritative assessment of how immigration is reshaping the politics of the nation. Shows that fears about immigration fundamentally influence white Americans' core political identities, policy preferences, and electoral choices, and that these concerns are at the heart of a large-scale defection of whites from the Democratic to Republican party. Raises critical questions and concerns about how political beliefs and future elections will change the fate of America's immigrants and minorities, and their relationship with the rest of the nation.
Finds that strict voter ID laws discriminate. Responds to a piece by Grimmer et al.
Argues that voter identification laws decrease minority turnout in American elections. Discusses how voter turnout among whites does not change, but turnout among Hispanics, Blacks, Asian Americans, and liberals falls by several percentage points when states require citizens to show identification in order to vote.