I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where I specialize in comparative politics, political economy, and methods, with a substantive focus on issues of development, governance, and corruption. I am a Visiting Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Ash Center and a Graduate Research Fellow at MIT GOV/LAB.
My dissertation challenges the
long-held view that the political appointment of
bureaucrats (or patronage, for short) serves only one purpose
-the clientelistic hiring of political supporters-
and is always detrimental for development. I
patronage by distinguishing five rationales that
drive politicians' use of public employment, and
document their divergent implications for
government accountability and public service delivery. Empirically, I focus on Brazilian
local governments and leverage a variety of methods and
data, including experimental and quasi-experimental
studies, original face-to-face and online surveys,
administrative microdata for the universe
of public employees, and more than 130 in-depth
interviews conducted over 18 months of fieldwork. Some of my other research explores the
effectiveness of anti-corruption policies and agencies, the role of
information in within-government and electoral accountability, and the causes and
consequences of the enfranchisement of immigrants. My research has been supported by the Lemann
Foundation, MIT GOV/LAB,
the Center for International
Studies, MISTI and the Program
on Governance and Local Development.
Before joining MIT, I spent several years working on education policy and human development programs at the World Bank in Washington DC and across Latin America. Prior to that, I obtained an MPhil in Comparative Politics from the University of Oxford, and a degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.