Welcome! I am Pablo Argote, Provost Postdoctoral Scholar in the Political Science Department at the University of Southern California. I study comparative political behavior, focusing on both voters and elites, in Latin America.
My doctoral dissertation explores how the internet and social media impact political elites. I argue that heavy exposure to social media increases ideological extremism among politicians via two channels. First, if the internet causes a decline in citizens’ pro-democratic attitudes, politicians could respond to their constituencies by adopting more extreme positions. Second, if social media rewards negative and angry messages, politicians could move to more radical positions offline, as they might be afraid of bad publicity by upsetting their online followers.
In other recent projects, I explore the factors explaining the preference for independent candidates, the role of ideology versus issues in electoral preferences, the impact of south-south migration on political attitudes, and the effect of access to the internet on attitudes towards abortion. I use various quantitative methods, including experiments, quasi-experimental designs with observational data, and text analysis, always prioritizing causal identification. My research has been published in Plos One, the European Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics in Latin America, and Nature Partner Journal Vaccines, among others.
Before my PhD at Columbia University, I worked in the Chilean government, in a political campaign, and completed a Master’s in Public Administration.