Miles D. Williams


Visiting Assistant Professor | Denison University

My Research

My research reflects a mix of projects and interests and has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and various online outlets. My primary research agenda centers on the political and strategic goals that motivate foreign aid giving by donor governments. But, as you’ll see below, my interests and contributions extend to statistical methods, political communication, religion in politics, and policy evaluation.

Political Economy of Aid

“Foreign Aid, Migrantion, and Civil War.” (Under Review) [Available upon request].

“Aid for Alliances? Buying and Selling Alliance Commitments in the Political Economy of Aid” (Work-in-Progress) [GitHub]

“A Strategic Political Economy of Aid” (Working Paper) [pdf]

“Competition and Buck-Passing in the Political Economy of Aid” (Working Paper) [pdf]

“Who Leads? The Strategic Determinants of Lead Donorship” (Working Paper) [pdf] [GitHub]

“Xinhua Coverage of Chinese Foreign Aid Allocations.” With Lucie Lu (Work-in-Progress) [GitHub]

“Strategic Multilateralism: International Development Cooperation and the World Bank.” (Work-in-Progress) [GitHub]

Machine Learning and Text-as-Data

“Leveraging the Black Box: Regression Adjustment via Random Forests.” (Working Paper) [pdf]

“Gender in the Pulpit: The Differences in Speaking Style for Men and Women.” (2019). With Ryan Burge (Journal Article) [pdf]

“Is Social Media a Digital Pulpit? How Evangelical Leaders Use Twitter to Encourage the Faithful and Publicize Their Work” (2019). With Ryan Burge (Journal Article) [journal site]

Policy Evaluation

“How Local Discretion Addresses Competing Allocation Goals: The Case of Small Business Relief Funding.” With Rebecca Johson, Heather Barry Kappes, Crystal C. Hall, Simone Zhang, and Elizabeth Bell. (Under Review)

“Does Performance Feedback Increase Flu-Vaccination Rates? A Cluster Randomized Trial.” With Sebastian Jilke, Pompa Debroy, Rebecca Johnson, Michael Wallace, and Vincent Marconi. (Working Paper)

“How Reducing Documentation Burdens Impacts Equity in Program Access: The Case of Small Business Covid-19 Relief Funding.” With Elizabeth Bell and Heather Kappes. (Working Paper)

Book Chapters

“World Bank.” with Matthew Winters. Forthcoming in the Handbook of International Orgnaizations: Theories, Concepts, and Empirical Insights. Eds. Katja Freistein, Julia Leininger, and Silke Weinlich. [pdf]

“Illinois 10th Congressional District: Re-rematch in Chicago Suburbs.” with Jeffrey Ashley. 2018. In The Roads to Congress 2016. Eds. Sean D. Foreman and Marcia L. Godwin. [book site]


“Reporting Statistical Results in Text and in Graphs”. with Ryan T. Moore and Russ Burnett. [pdf]


I occasionally have contributed to Religion in Public. In my latest contribution, I discuss links between anti-immigrant attitudes among religious conservatives in the U.S. and support for foreign aid spending.

I also host my own blog here on my site where I semi-regularly post about statistics and programming in R.