Sjur Hamre

I am a PhD candidate in political economy at Duke University. I study how environmental politics constrains and creates opportunities for firms through political consumerism, public procurement, and lobbying.

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About me

I am a PhD candidate in political economy at Duke University


My dissertation examines how environmental politics shapes firm incentives. As concerns about mitigating climate change and preserving the environment have intensified, a growing number of actors use their political power to constrain firm behavior. In my dissertation, I examine which actors seek to impose stricter environmental standards on firms, what strategies they use, and how effective the strategies are at altering firm behavior: I examine constraints on firms imposed by consumers – through “buycotts” and boycotts – to better understand which consumers undertake costly actions to constrain firms and why; how environmental credentials affect government subsides; and how multinationals contribute to environmental standard diffusion.

I also maintain a strong interest in international trade policy: In my work on the political effects of trade adjustment, I examine how exposure to large trade shocks increases political polarization in recently democratized states, and how that polarization has contributed to recent episodes of democratic backsliding.

I have used a broad range of quantitative research methods in my research, including various big data methods, quasi-experimental designs, and lab- and lab-in-the-field experiments.

NYU Abu Dhabi
From the desert outside Abu Dhabi
Stari Most, Mostar


Before joining Duke, I studied Economics and Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi, with semesters abroad in Shanghai and Washington, D.C. In my capstone thesis, I examined how China’s WTO accession affected vote choices and labor markets in Western Europe. I grew up in Western Norway and finished high school at UWC Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


  • Political consumerism
  • Business—government relations
  • Environmental politics and policy
  • Trade policy and trade adjustment
  • Econometrics and causal inference


Research methods

  • Econometrics, research design, and causal inference

Programming languages and software

  • Stata and R
  • Python (+ oTree), SQL, PHP, JavaScript (+ jQuery)
  • HTML and CSS


  • Norwegian
  • English
  • German
  • Chinese

My research

Publications and ongoing projects

ESG and firm strategy

  • Subjects in the lab, activists in the field: public goods and punishment (with Dave, Kephart, and Reuben)
    • We compare standard (laboratory) and non-standard (field) subject pool behavior in an extensive form public goods game with random punishment. Our experimental investigation is motivated by real-world ‘Activists’ encouraging public goods provision by firms; an activity known as corporate social responsibility. We find that relative to laboratory subjects, activists in Mumbai are more willing to settle at the Nash equilibrium of the game (which entails increased provision of public goods) and are more willing to punish non-cooperative firm behavior even if such punishments hurt their own payoffs.
    • Read in Eurasian Economic Review
  • Political consumerism on the margin: Who sanctions environmental misconduct by firms?
    • More citizens than ever before engage in political consumerism – deliberately purchasing or boycotting products to incentivize firm behavior. A large survey literature debates whether resource-based or expression-centric models better explain who participates. I use 13 years of barcode-level sales data collected from a representative panel of about 50,000 households to test which households sanction firms for environmental misconduct in the coffee market: My results consistently support the lifestyle politics model, rather than the CVM, implying that political consumerism is mainly driven by expression-oriented rather than resource-based politics, and thus represents a broadening of political participation.
  • Who dreams of Californication? Trade-induced cleavages in regulatory preferences among firms
    • This project empirically examines the California effects hypothesis — whether firms that export to countries with more stringent de jure product and process standards than their home market attempt to impose those standards on their non-exporting competitors through lobbying and other means — using United States lobbying and tariff data.

Politics of international trade

  • Imports, Income Inequality, and Political Polarization in Europe
    • Over the past two decades, democratic backsliding – the gradual erosion of democratic qualities by incumbent executives – has become the dominant source of democratic breakdown. Scholars of backsliding increasingly believe that the incumbent’s supporters tolerate antidemocratic transgressions because polarization on policy issues makes it too costly to vote for the opposition, but they have devoted limited attention to identifying the origins of backsliding-enabling polarization. I argue that labor market displacements caused by import competition from China could have enabled backsliding in Europe by increasing polarization on economic and social policy issues. Scholars of European politics have thus far focused on how Chinese import competition has affected support for far-right populist parties or shifted average regional attitudes. I argue that intensified import competition from China increased regional political polarization in Europe, as in the United States, but that the polarization was caused by redistributive conflict between winners and losers rather than intensified competition for shrinking resources, as appears to have been the case in the United States.
    • Consistent with these hypotheses, I find that income inequality rose in European NUTS-2 regions more exposed to Chinese import competition, and that voters in regions with higher import competition became more polarized on economic and social policy issues. To explore whether intensified Chinese import competition could have enabled the backsliding observed in Europe, I carry out a more targeted analysis of Poland’s pivotal 2015 election, where I find that Polish NUTS-3 regions with higher cumulative exposure to import competition were more polarized on economic issues, but somewhat less polarized on social issues, which is consistent with Chinese import competition enabling democratic backsliding in Poland.

Teaching activites

I enjoy teaching methods-oriented and substantive courses

Teaching experience

  • Political Risk Analysis (Graduate and Undergraduate)
    • Teaching Assistant for Edmund Malesky (Spring 2023)
  • Introduction to Applied Statistical Analysis (Undergraduate)
    • Instructor of Record (Fall 2022; Fall 2023)
    • Course websites with syllabi:
    • Fall 2023 Fall 2022
  • Probability and Regression (Graduate)
    • Teaching Assistant for Eddy Malesky (Spring 2021; Spring 2022)
    • Head TA (Spring 2022); Prepared and led weekly programming seminars
  • Global Corruption (Undergraduate)
    • Teaching Assistant for Melanie Manion (Fall 2021)
    • Prepared and led review sessions; Graded and advised students on short papers
  • Intro to Political Economy (Undergraduate)
    • Teaching Assistant for Mike Munger (Fall 2020)
    • Prepared and led weekly seminars; Graded and advised students on short assignments
  • Global Economic, Political, and Social Development (Undergraduate)
    • Teaching Assistant for Ronald Rogowski (Fall 2017)
    • Prepared and led review sessions; Graded and advised students on short assignments

Additional documents

  • Sample syllabus: Intro to Applied Statistical Analysis
    • My interactice course website contains the syllabus I designed for the Introduction to Applied Statistical Analysis course that I taught in Barcelona in Fall 2022.
    • Visit course website
  • Sample syllabus: PE of International Trade
    • In this sample syllabus, I have designed a Political Economy of International Trade curriculum designed to teach students the foundations of the subfield, while also addressing the present fronters in the academic and policy debates about trade policy. I start out with historial and methodological overviews and devote the bulk of the course to the effects of trade on welfare (including domestic and global distributional issues), security (including various forms of “deep integration” and supply chain robustness), and product and process standards (including environmental, labor, and IP issues).
    • Show sample syllabus
  • Teaching statement
    • In my teaching, I seek to cultivate my students’ passion for social inquiry; provide them with the tools they need to rigorously evaluate claims about the political economy; and help them discover how to ask and pursue novel questions that advance our understanding of how society works today and how we can make it more equitable, sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous moving forward.
    • Show teaching statement

Contact me

Get in touch

Contact information

Duke Political Science
140 Science Drive
Campus Box 90204
Durham, NC 27708


Linkedin: sjurhamre
Twitter: sjurhamre

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