Cecilia Mo

Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of California, Berkeley

Cecilia Mo is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of California, Berkeley. She was previously an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University.

Her research combines political science, economics, and psychology, specializing in behavioral political economy, comparative political behavior, the political economy of development, and social policy research. She focuses on significant contemporary challenges to development and moral issues of today like cultivating democratic citizenship, understanding and addressing the negative consequences of rising inequality, combatting modern day slavery, and reducing prejudice. Her research agenda is interdisciplinary and lies at the intersection of political science, economics, and psychology.

Dr. Mo’s research also is policy-relevant. It views actors as boundedly rational; that is, in decision-making, the rationality of individuals is limited by the cognitive constraints of their minds, and the finite amount of time they have to make decisions. Her research integrates theories of bounded rationality like aspiration-based frameworks, prospect theory, and unconscious attitudes into models and empirical analyses of political and economic decision-making and institutions. Her research has appeared in American Political Science Review, Journal of Experimental Political Science, Journal of Public Policy, Political Behavior, PLoS ONE, World Development, Journal of Politics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and American Journal of Political Science.

Dr. Mo has received numerous awards for her research, including the American Political Science Association (APSA)’s 2015 Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the previous year’s annual meeting, the 2018 Roberta Sigel Early Career Scholar Best Paper Award from ISPP, and both the 2018 Best Paper Award, and the 2016 Best Article in Political Behavior award from APSA’s Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior Section. She has also been awarded over $1.6 million grant dollars to support her research agenda.

She holds a Ph.D. in Political Economics and an M.A. in Political Science from Stanford University, an M.P.A. in International development from Harvard University, an M.A. in Education from Loyola Marymount University, and a B.A. in mathematics and interdisciplinary studies from University of Southern California.