Mary Angelica Painter

Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, Boulder
Chapter Member: Colorado SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Mary

Painter’s research interest includes understanding and developing new and robust measures to study social vulnerabilities in the wake of natural hazards, while also incorporating the effects of the role of government, policy, and politics in disaster response. Her work at the Natural Hazards Center focuses on finding the root of social vulnerability and addressing these issues in the context of disaster risk in a 10-state Midwest region, which includes her home state of Missouri. Specializing in research methodology, she is keen on developing statistical tools to advance the understanding of social vulnerability and disaster response. Painter also researches social vulnerability, compounding hazards/disasters, and political dynamics of disaster response in Puerto Rico in coordination with Social Vulnerability and Resilience Lab (SOLVER) and National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which includes the role of policy feedback, social capital, and electoral consequences.


How Inequality and Politics Influence Government Responses to Natural Disasters

  • Fernando Tormos-Aponte
  • Gustavo García-López

In the News

Opinion: "Puerto Rico’s Electricity Problems Go Beyond Maria and Fiona for Progressives From a Devastating Supreme Court Loss," Mary Angelica Painter (with Fernando Tormos-Aponte and Sameer H. Shah ), The Washington Post, September 28, 2022.
Opinion: "Memo: Voters Support the Biden-Sanders Task Force Recommendations," Mary Angelica Painter (with Andrew Mangan, Erik Shell, Emily Bello-Pardo, Monika Nayak , and John Ray), Data for Progress, July 28, 2020.
Research discussed by Adam McCann, in "Best & Worst Cities to Drive in," WalletHub, September 3, 2019.
Opinion: "Why We Need to Address the Demands of Striking Ride-Hailing Service Drivers," Mary Angelica Painter, The Washington Post, May 8, 2019.


"Energy Inequality and Clientelism in the Wake of Disasters: From Colorblind to Affirmative Power Restoration" (with Fernando Tormos-Aponte and Gustavo García-López). Energy Policy 158 (2021).

FInds that communities with ties to the ruling party elicit greater government responsiveness while socially vulnerable communities are less likely to be prioritized during the disaster relief efforts, controlling for disaster damage as well as logistical, economic, and essential service recovery priorities.

"Local Politics as a Context for Polarizing Cues" (with David C. Kimball). Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (2021).

Demonstrates that source cues (such as prominent politicians or interest groups) can move public support for some policies, however, most of the research on source cues in the United States tests the impact of national leaders or parties as cues. Argues that hypotheses about source cues should be tested in other settings, such as local politics.

"Luxury Consumption and Development: The Case of Beer Consumption and Gender Equality" Great Plains Political Science Association Conference (2016).

Demand for luxury items seems to come from the rise in purchasing power of the average citizen on a global scale due to a number of developmental factors, especially for women. Results in this analysis show increases in beer consumption alongside an increase in gender equality in 2011. For 2014, the opposite occurs. I conclude the reasoning for the dramatic change is due either to growing health concerns or demand to purchase locally.