Skip to content
Christopher Faricy

Christopher Faricy

Contact Information:


100 Eggers Hall

Christopher Faricy

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Political Science Department

Hicker Family Professor of Renewing Democratic Community

Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute

Research Affiliate, Center for Policy Research

Research Affiliate, Center for Policy Design and Governance


Introduction to American Politics

The Politics of Income Inequality

Introduction to Political Analysis

Social Welfare Seminar

Political Parties and Elections Seminar

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010

Areas of Expertise

American politics, social policy, income inequality, tax policy, public opinion on government spending, budgetary politics, political economy, political parties

Research Grant Awards and Projects

Policy Feedback and Mass Publics in Polarized Times (book proposal under review)

This book project reexamines the policy feedback process through a behavioral lens, focusing on the role that political attitudes play as a critical factor in determining how and for whom the policy feedback generates self-reinforcing effects. Mass behavior research notes that when deciding how to evaluate government in general and policies or candidates specifically, citizens have, among other things, at least two primary motivations. The first is a self-interest component; citizens want to support policies that benefit them directly. The second is a political identity component; citizens support policies that are consistent with their broader political leanings and identities, regardless of whether they stand to benefit from them or not. In many cases, these two components reinforce one another; low-income Democrats would support expansion of the welfare state for both reasons. But in other cases, they do not: high-income Democrats are cross-pressured on the same question. Understanding how citizens balance these motivations is increasingly important as partisan identities have become both more polarized and less tethered to traditional class orientations.

We argue that the same competing motivations are at play when it comes to policy feedback. We suggest that, consistent with the policy feedback literature, those who benefit from a policy are more likely to support the policy than those who do not benefit, and that people who benefit from a large number of government programs will have more positive orientations to government than those who do not. But the effects of being a policy beneficiary will be, at times, moderated or overwhelmed by the role of political identity. In particular, Republicans, whose political identity is strongly connected to anti-government attitudes, will respond differently to experiences with particular policies than will Democrats, and thus will provide policy feedback effects that differ in magnitude and impact. 


Christopher Faricy and Christopher Ellis. 2021. The Other Side of the Coin: Public Opinion toward Social Tax Expenditures New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 

Christopher Faricy and Christopher Ellis. 2020. “Race, ”Deservingness,” and Social Spending Attitudes: The Role of Policy Delivery Mechanism.” Political Behavior 42(3): 819-843. 

Christopher Faricy. 2017. “Partisanship, Class, and Attitudes towards the Divided Welfare State.” The Forum 15(1): 111-126. 

Christopher Faricy. 2016. “The Distributive Politics of Tax Expenditures: How Parties Use Policy Tools to Distribute Federal Money to the Rich and the Poor." Politics, Groups, and Identities 4(1): 110-125.

Christopher Faricy. 2015. Welfare for the Wealthy: Parties, Social Spending, and Inequality in the United States. New York: Cambridge University Press.

with Christopher Ellis. 2014. “Public Attitudes Toward Direct Social Spending in the United States: The Differences Between Direct Spending and Tax Expenditures." Political Behavior 36(1): 53-76.

with Christopher Ellis. 2011. “Social Policy and Public Opinion: How the Ideological Direction of Spending Influences Public Mood.” The Journal of Politics  (73):1095-1110)  

Christopher Faricy. 2011. “The Politics of Social Policy in America: The Causes and Effects of Indirect versus Direct Social Spending.” The Journal of Politics (73):74-83

Michele Hoyman & Christopher Faricy. 2009. “It Takes a Village: A Test of the Creative Class, Social Capital and Human Capital Theories.” Urban Affairs Review (44): 311-333