Austin L. Wright

About me

I am an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy and The College at The University of Chicago.

For academic year 2021-2022, I am also a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale University School of Management and faculty affiliate of the The Georg Walter Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy.

My research on substate conflict largely focuses on the political economy of insurgent violence, examining how rebel groups adopt new technologies of war to undermine state rivals. I also study the political economy of crime and pandemic response. My work is supported by the Becker Friedman Institute, National Science Foundation, and Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. I am a faculty affiliate of the Pearson Institute and Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

At Harris, I primarily teach in the Applied Statistics Core, with a focus on using causal inference tools to better understand public policy interventions. I have received several teaching prizes, including the 2017 Junior Faculty of the Year Award (Harris) as well as the 2015 George Kateb Prize for Best Preceptor in Politics (Princeton). I was also selected to give the 2021 Last Lecture for graduating students.

I received my B.A. and B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin and my Ph.D. from Princeton University. Before attending graduate school, I was a Teach For America corps member in New Orleans, Louisiana where I taught mathematics.

I am a father (to three amazing children), a first generation college graduate, an underrepresented minority, a Toyota Land Cruiser fanatic, and an avid fisherman.

CV: You can find my CV here.