Jennifer Pan

Assistant Professor
Dept. of Communication
Stanford University

Jennifer Pan Profile Photo






My research focuses on political communication and authoritarian politics. I use experimental and computational methods with large-scale datasets on political activity in China and other authoritarian regimes to answer questions about how autocrats perpetuate their rule. How political censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation work in the digital age. How preferences and behaviors are shaped as a result.


Pan, Jennifer. 2020. Welfare for Autocrats: How Social Assistance in China Cares for its Rulers. New York: Oxford University Press (Order on Amazon)
What are the costs of the Chinese regime’s fixation on quelling dissent in the name of political order, or “stability”? Welfare for Autocrats shows how China has reshaped its major social assistance program, Dibao, around this preoccupation, turning an effort to alleviate poverty into a tool of surveillance and repression.


Lu, Yingdan and Jennifer Pan. 2020. “Capturing Clicks: How the Chinese Government Uses Clickbait to Compete for Visibility.” Political Communication. Forthcoming. (PDF, Appendix, Replication)

Pan, Jennifer and Alexandra A. Siegel. 2020. “How Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent.” American Political Science Review 114: 109-125. (PDF, Appendix, Replication)

Pan, Jennifer and Margaret E. Roberts. Forthcoming. “Censorship’s Effect on Incidental Exposure to Information: Evidence from Wikipedia.” SAGE Open January-March 2020: 1-14. (PDF)

Hilbert, Martin, George Barnett, Joshua Blumenstock, Noshir Contractor, Jana Diesner, Seth Frey, Sandra Gonzlez-Bailon, PJ Lamberson, Jennifer Pan, Tai-Quan Peng, Cuihua (Cindy) Shen, Paul E. Smaldino, Wouter van Atteveldt, Annie Waldherr, Jingwen Zhang, Jonathan J. H. Zhu. 2019. “Computational Communication Science: A Methodological Catalyzer for a Maturing Discipline.” International Journal of Communication 13: 23. (PDF)

Han, Zhang and Jennifer Pan. 2019. “CASM: A Deep-Learning Approach for Identifying Collective Action Events with Text and Image Data from Social Media” Sociological Methodology 49(1): 1-57. (PDF, Appendix, CASM Dataset)

Reeves, Byron, Nilam Ram, Thomas N. Robinson, James J. Cummings, C. Lee Giles, Jennifer Pan, Angese Chiatti et al. Forthcoming. “Screenomics: A Framework to Capture and Analyze Personal Life Experiences and the Ways That Technology Shapes Them.” Human Computer Interaction. 2019. (PDF)

Pan, Jennifer. 2019. “How Chinese Officials Use the Internet to Construct their Public Image.” Political Science Research and Methods 7(2): 197-213. (PDF, Appendix, Replication)

Muise, Daniel and Jennifer Pan. 2019. “Online Field Experiments.” Asian Journal of Communication 29(3): 217-234. (PDF)

Pan, Jennifer and Kaiping Chen. 2018. “Concealing Corruption: How Chinese Officials Distort Upward Reporting of Online Grievances.” American Political Science Review 112(3): 602-620. (PDF, Appendix, Replication)

Field, Anjalie, Doron Kliger, Shuly Wintner, Jennifer Pan, Dan Jurafsky, and Yulia Tsvetkov. 2018. “Framing and Agenda-setting in Russian News: a Computational Analysis of Intricate Political Strategies.” EMNLP 2018. (PDF)

Pan, Jennifer and Yiqing Xu. 2018. “China’s Ideological Spectrum.” The Journal of Politics 80(1): 254-273. (PDF, Appendix, Replication)

Jaros, Kyle and Jennifer Pan. 2018. “China’s Newsmakers: How Media Power is Shifting in the Xi Jinping Era.” The China Quarterly 233: 111-136. (PDF, Appendix)

King, Gary, Jennifeer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. 2017. “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument.” American Political Science Review 111(3): 484-501. 2017. (PDF, Replication)

Pan, Jennifer. 2017. “How Market Dynamics of Domestic and Foreign Social Media Firms Shape Strategies of Internet Censorship.” Problems of Post-Communism 64(3-4): 167-188. (PDF, Replication)

Meng, Tianguang, Jennifer Pan, and Ping Yang. 2017. “Conditional Receptivity to Citizen Participation: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in China.” Comparative Political Studies 50(4): 399–433. (PDF, Replication)

Chen, Jidong; Pan, Jennifer; and Yiqing Xu. 2016. “Sources of Authoritarian Responsiveness: A Field Experiment in China.” American Journal of Political Science 60(2): 383-400. (PDF, Replication)

Monroe, Burt L., Jennifer Pan, Margaret E. Roberts, Maya Sen, and Betsy Sinclair. 2015. “No! Formal Theory, Causal Inference, and Big Data Are Not Contradictory Trends in Political Science.” PS: Political Science and Politics. (PDF)

King, Gary, Jennifere Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. 2014. “Reverse-engineering Censorship in China: Randomized Experimentation and Participant Observation.” Science 345, no. 6199: 1-10. (PDF, Supplement, Summary, Replication)

King, Gary, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. 2013. “How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression.” American Political Science Review 107(2): 1-18. (PDF, Replication)

Zhang, Fujie, Hsu, Michael, Yu, Lan, Wen, Yi, Tuo, Jia, Zhang, Ruijuan, and Jennifer Pan. 2006. “Initiation of the National Free ART Program in Rural China,” in Joan Kaufman, Arthur Kleinman, and Tony Saich, eds. Social Policies and HIV/AIDS in China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 96-124. (PDF)

Zhang, Fujie, Jennifer Pan, Lan Yu, Yi Wen, Ye Ma, and Yan Zhao. 2005. “Current Progress of China’s Free ART Program.” Cell Research. 15(11-12): 877-882. (Link)

Zhang, Fujie, Yi Wen, Lan Yu, Ye Ma, Jennifer Pan, and Yan Zhao. 2005. “Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS and Current Situation of China Free ARV Program.” Science and Technology Review 7(23): 24-29. (Link)