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James Alt

Faculty Associate


James Alt

James Alt is Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government, Emeritus at Harvard University and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was a Guggenheim fellow in 1997–1998. His publications include The Politics of Economic Decline (1979) Political Economics (with K. Crystal, 1983), and numerous articles in scholarly journals, including Partisan De-alignment in Britain, 1964–74 in British Journal of Political Science (1977), and Political Parties, World Demand, and Unemployment in American Political Science Review (1985). He is co-editor of Cabinet Studies (with V. Herman, 1975) and of Competition and Cooperation (with M. Levi and E. Ostrom, 1999). His current interests are in comparative political economy; the interaction of voters, political parties, budget and other political institutions, financial markets, and fiscal policies in industrial democracies. His research analyzes institutional transparency, accountability and corruption, and fiscal policy outcomes in OECD countries and the United States.


  • Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government Emeritus, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University