Bill Schultz

Bill Schultz

Asst. Instructional Professor

University of Chicago


I study resource management policy in societies around the world, with a focus on the politics of conservation and development projects. I’m especially interested in the role social diversity and participatory policymaking play in these initiatives. I conduct research using a flexible mix of game theory, observational data analysis, and experimentation. Methodologically, I am interested in geospatial data collection, causal inference, and recent efforts to improve how applied researchers interpret statistical findings.

On this website, you will find some information about my research, courses I teach, and my CV. You can also get in touch over email. Thank you for visiting!


  • Resource management
  • Conservation
  • International development
  • Geospatial data
  • Causal inference
  • Game theory


  • PhD in Political Science, 2020

    Florida State University

  • MA in Political Science, 2017

    Florida State University

  • BSc in Business Management, 2009

    University of Maryland

  • BA in Government and Politics, 2013

    University of Maryland









Stakeholder engagement increases transparency, satisfaction, and civic action

We use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a Stakeholder Engagement (SE) intervention in improving outcomes for communities affected by oil and gas extraction in Western Uganda.

Bridging the academic-practitioner gap in RCTs

A commentary on the challenges facing academic and practitioner collaboration in development research, based on our team’s experience conducting an RCT study in Western Uganda

Resource management and joint-planning in fragmented societies

This study uses cooperative game theory to identify the conditions under which social barriers to coordination are most likely to have consequences for sustainability

Working Papers

Local initiative in conservation and development efforts

This study compares the performance of two legal classifications of sustainable use areas in Brazil in terms of their ability to slow forest clearing. A primary difference between these areas is whether they were established through a top-down or bottom-up process.

Local participation in REDD+ forest conservation projects in Brazil

This study uses a new extension of the synthetic control estimation strategy to explore whether the most participatory REDD+ efforts are more effective than other less participatory efforts to combat forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon.

Payment-based interventions and non-monetary returns

How should analysts expect third-party agencies to behave when the success of a payment-based policy intervention depends on devoting effort to costly relationship-building and/or risky local partnerships? This study uses game theory to explore the answers to those questions


Comparative Natural Resource Management

This course introduces undergraduate students to the current state of research into the politics of natural resource management around the world today, embedded within a broader tradition of research in the subfield of Comparative Politics. Students in this course read and discuss academic articles on resource management dilemmas at both micro (individual households and towns) and macro levels (countries, or regions within a country). Students are exposed to the relative methodological advantages of both qualitative and quantitative efforts.

Download an example syllabus.

Social Science Inquiry

This sequence of courses (over an entire year) introduces undergraduate students to the philosophy of quantitative social science research. The sequence encourages students to think critically about how this style of research can help us produce more certain knowledge about the sources of social problems and potential solutions to them. Students in this sequence read classic and contemporary academic articles on the philosophy of social science inquiry, learn the basics of quantitative social science research design (including statistical techniques commonly used in this field), and get hands on experience developing their own research projects. Students also get experience using the R statistical computing environment.

Understanding Political Science Research

This course introduces undergraduate students to the basics of statistical techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It also provides more general lessons on the philosophy of science, and how that philosophy informs empirically-oriented political research of all forms. Students come out of this class better prepared to make sense of published work in political science, and more familiar with the fundamentals of good research design. This course is based around “the Fundamentals of Political Science Research” by Kellstedt and Whitten.

Download an example syllabus.

Introduction to Game Theory

This course introduces undergraduate students to the fundamentals of game theory, and illustrates how game theoretic techniques are typically used in political science research. I educate students on the nuts-and-bolts of how to solve different classes of games, while also walking the class through models used in published research that are within reach of hardworking undergraduates. Readings for this class are a mix of assigned selections from Osborne’s “Introduction to Game Theory” as well as publications in various journals.

Download an example syllabus.

Global Politics and Policy

This course introduces undergraduate students to the basics of two subfields of political science: Comparative Politics and International Relations. The goal is to prepare students to effectively engage in debates about the causes of public policy failures around the world at both domestic and international levels, as well as their potential solutions.

Download an example syllabus.

Introduction to Comparative Politics

This course introduces undergraduate students to current state of research on Comparative Politics. It focuses on: (1) reviewing the major questions researchers in this subfield explore; and (2) giving students a basic primer on the philsophy of science and the methodological tools used by researchers in Comparative Politics today. I draw on Clark, Golder and Golder’s textbook, “Principles of Comparative Politics” when teaching this course.

Download an example syllabus.


  • Bellamy Building, Tallahassee, FL 32301
  • Office 557B