Nathan Micatka

Doctoral Candidate
Research Assistant
Biography

Nathan Micatka CV

I am a PhD candidate in political science studying public policy and American politics. My research centers on how public policies, primarily social policies, influence people’s political behaviors and attitudes; a process called policy feedback. I am interested in better understanding how social policies contribute to political and social inequality in the United States.

My dissertation asks what the relationship is between people’s experiences with social welfare policies in adolescence and their political orientations and behaviors in adulthood. In one chapter, I show that growing up on welfare influences party identification in young adulthood. I find non-Hispanic white individuals who grow up on welfare are more likely to identify as Democrats in young adulthood, but there is no effect on party identification among Black and Hispanic individuals. In the second chapter, I use a mixed-methods approach to investigate the effects of adolescent welfare participation on the development of voting habits. I find that non-Hispanic white individuals with adolescent welfare experience are less likely to vote in their first election and that this effect persists across subsequent elections in young adulthood; there is no effect among non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic individuals. In my dissertation work, I also explore whether and how the relationship between adolescent welfare experiences and political outcomes in adulthood varies based on state welfare policy designs.

Awards:

  • Graduate College Summer Fellowship, 2023
  • Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fall Fellowship, 2022
  • Graduate College Summer Fellowship, 2022
  • Best Graduate Student Seminar Paper Award, 2021

Grants:

  • Dissertation Research Grant ($1500), UI Graduate Student Government, 2024
  • Dissertation Research Grant ($765), UI Graduate Student Government, 2022

Presentations:

  • “Help or Hindrance? The Moderating Effects of State Welfare Policies on Youth Voting.” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2024.
  • “Waking up to Politics: How Sleep Quality Relates to Political Participation” (with Fatih Erol & Aleks Ksiazkiewicz). Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, April 2024.
  • “Does Ranked Choice Voting in Primaries Alter the Electorate?” (with Todd Donovan & Caroline Tolbert). Western Political Science Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, Canada, March 2024.
  • “Is there a National Primary Electorate? Ideology and Representativeness in State Primary Electorates, 2014-22” (with Robert Boatright & Caroline Tolbert). Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, January 2024.
  • “The Persistent Effects of Multiple Policy Experiences during Adolescence,” Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2023
  • “Socializing Policy Feedback: The Long-term Effects of Welfare Program Participation in Adolescence,” Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2022

Research areas
  • Public Policy
  • American Politics
  • Social Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Political Methodology
Nathan Micatka
Phone
Education
University of Iowa, MA in Political Science, 2022
University of Southern California, MA in Political Science, 2020
University of Iowa, BA in Political Science & Ethics and Public Policy, 2018
Contact Information
Address

318 Schaeffer Hall (SH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States