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Blair Read


Welcome! I am an Associate Fellow at the Office of Evaluation Sciences and a visiting Data Scientist at Code for America. I received my Ph.D. from the MIT Department of Political Science in September 2022. 

My academic research examines the political economy of public service delivery, with a focus on privatized services. My book project examines the formation and development of public service sectors in the Global South, focusing on state decisions to outsource education to non-state actors in India. In related work on India, I study how politicians make temporal decisions about governance investments, the politics of identity in civics textbooks, and the production of majoritarian violence. 

I also conduct applied policy research. Using randomized control trials, quasi-experimental design, and descriptive inference with big data, I study ways to improve citizens' experience with the safety net in the United States. Other applied research interests include political behavior in developing contexts, and survey design and measurement.

At MIT, I was a Graduate Research Fellow at MIT GOV/LAB and a Graduate Research Associate with the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard. My research has been supported by NSF, the Program on Governance and Local Development, MIT GOV/LAB, and the MIT Center for International Studies. I have conducted fieldwork in India (Delhi, Haryana, UP, and Kerala), Pakistan (Punjab), Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh, and Indonesia (Java).

You can reach me at

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