Jake Bowers

Jake Bowers

Primary Affiliation: Equity, Justice, and Human Flourishing Working Group

Departments of Political Science and Statistics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Skill Highlights

Designing  Randomized Control Trials

Writing  Analysis of Randomized Field Experiments

Researching Integrity and Transparency for Policy Evaluation

Translating Scholarship to Policy

Collaboration Between Researchers and Practitioners


Awarded funding of $100,000 for a project studying Racial Equity and Justice in the State Courts During the Post-Pandemic Transition. The project will leverage and build on the COVID-19 and the Operations of Courts Project and what has been learned so far on the operations of courts and access to justice during the pandemic.
Professor Wilson received a $232,032 Templeton Religion Trust grant to support the Tolerance Means Dialogues initiatives.
Since January 1, 2019, Professor Wilson and a team of students have been supporting legislative efforts across the U.S. to provide patient protections around intimate teaching exams, which have resulted in 13 laws in 32 months, drawing on her Opinion-Editorial in the Chicago Tribune, #Just Ask: Stop Treating Unconscious Female Patients like Cadavers.
Assisted Utah Governor Gary Herbert and General Counsel Ron Gordon in crafting legislation banning gay conversion therapy through revisions to R156 concerning Commerce, Occupational and Professional Licensing, drawing from her article Being Transgender in the Era of Trump: Compassion Should Pick Up Where Science Leaves Off.
Assisted the Utah Legislature to craft its landmark antidiscrimination laws protecting both the LGBT and faith communities in a package of protections, drawn from Bargaining for Civil Rights: Lessons from Mrs. Murphy for Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Rights, described in more detail in Common Ground Lawmaking Lessons for Peaceful Coexistence from Masterpiece Cakeshop and the Utah Compromise.
Assisted Senator Michael McLachlan, Connecticut State Senate, in codifying same-sex marriage with legislative protections for all, drawing from her work on Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts with Professor Douglas Laycock and Anthony Picarello. This effort resulted in religious liberty protections in 9 states and the District of Columbia. See, e.g., Connecticut (S.B. 899, 2009); District of Columbia (D.C. Law 18-110, 2009); New Hampshire (H.B. 73, 2010); New York (A. 8354, 2011); Washington (S.B. 6239, 2012); Maryland (H.B. 438, 2012); Minnesota (H.F. 1054, 2013); Rhode Island (S. 0038A, 2013); Illinois (S.B. 0010, 2013); and Hawaii (S.B. 1, 2013).
Assisted Rep. David Orentlicher, Indiana House of Representatives, in crafting child protection legislation (Indiana S.B. 311), drawing on her work on Sexually Predatory Parents and the Children in Their Care: Remove the Threat, Not the Child, in Handbook of Children, Culture and Violence 39 (Nancy Dowd, Dorothy G. Singer & Robin Fretwell Wilson, eds., 2006).
Assisted Representative James Smith, South Carolina House of Representatives, in crafting the Lewis Blackman Hospital Patient Safety Protection Act (South Carolina H.B. 3832). Professor Wilson partnered with Helen Haskell, whose fifteen-year-old son, Lewis Blackman, had died, to fashion a package of patient protections designed to avert tragic deaths, such as requiring health professionals to wear name tags identifying their role on the healthcare team and posting notices about how to reach an attending physician.
Partnered with Delegate Robert Bell, Virginia House of Delegates, to provide patient protections around intimate teaching exams, drawing on her article Autonomy Suspended: Using Female Patients to Teach Intimate Exams Without Their Knowledge or Consent and her testimony before the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice at the Joint Hearings on Health Care and Competition Law and Policy on June 10, 2003. From 2012 until 2019, the span of seven years, six states enacted similar laws requiring informed consent for intimate teaching exams.
Assisted Representative David Orentlicher, Indiana House of Representatives, in crafting child protection legislation (Indiana S.B. 194), drawing on Professor Wilson’s article The Cradle of Abuse: Evaluating the Danger Posed by a Sexually Predatory Parent to the Victim’s Siblings.



Jake Bowers is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Statistics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has served as a Methods Fellow in the Office of Evaluation Sciences in the General Services Administration of the U.S. federal government, a Fellow in The Policy Lab at Brown University, and Methods Director for the Evidence in Governance and Politics network. Jake co-founded and co-directs the Causal Inference for Social Impact Lab at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He also co-founded Research 4 Impact, an organization devoted to connecting academia with practice. His research on human behavior has focused on understanding COVID hesitancy in the USA, tax compliance in Malawi, reactions to the legalization of marijuana in Uruguay, social cohesion in Canada, attitudes about immigration in the UK, and attitudes about extremism in Nigeria. His research in statistical methodology focuses on questions about statistical inference for causal effects in both randomized field experiments and observational studies.

Dept of Political Science & Statistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Associate Professor, 2013 – Present

The Office of Evaluation Sciences U.S. General Services Administration

    Fellow, 2015 – 2020, 2022

Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) 

    Methods Director, 2018 – 2022

Center for Advanced Study in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Co-founder of The Causal Inference for Social Impact Lab Stanford University

    Affiliate, 2017– Present 

The Policy Lab @ Brown University

Senior Scientist & Fellow, 2019–2021

Center for Advanced Study in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Stanford University

    Fellow, 2018 – 2019

Research 4 Impact

    Co-founder,  2016 -2017 

White House Social & Behavioral Science Team National Science and Technology Policy Council

Fellow, 2015 – 2016

1995 – J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia

1989 – B.A with Highest Distinction, University of Virginia



Worked on team that created vote.gov in 2016. Rejoining team to improve and evaluate vote.gov starting in 2022

The Policy Lab at Brown

Worked on projects related to early childhood language learning and the Providence Talks replication and COVID attitudes and behaviors.

Anchored the Methods Team of the Group

The White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team and The Office of Evaluation Sciences

Evidence in Governance and Politics

Founding member, Board Member, Methods Director 2018--2022

Research 4 Impact

Co-founder and Board Member

Recent Publications

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2014 - The Miller prize for the best paper published in Political Analysis in 2013 (with Mark Fredrickson and Costas Panagopoulos)
2012 - The Political Methodology Emerging Scholar Award for a young researcher, within ten years of their degree, who is making notable contributions to the field of political methodology
2010 - Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha prize for the best paper presented at the American Political Science Association national meetings in 2009 (with Ben Hansen)


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