Dissertation: The End of the Closed Corral
Explaining the Decline of Clientelism in Brazil

The increased corruption, patronage, and clientelism that accompanied democratization in Brazil led scholars to question the country's prospects.  Yet the democratic consolidation and programmatic politics that seemed impossible then has become increasingly common.  Does this mark a turn for the better?  I argue that it does.  My dissertation provides evidence that Brazilian politics are becoming more open as clientelist political machines decline.  Three factors explain this shift: bureaucratic reforms undertaken during the military regime provide the capacity for programmatic politics; grassroots mobilization has supported the ideological leaders who have enacted universal policies; and oft-cited economic factors have further reinforced this virtuous cycle.

Published Articles

Corruption and Inequality at the Crossroads: A Multimethod Study of Bribery and Discrimination in Latin America. coauthored with Paul Lagunes and Atheendar Venkataramani. 2010. Latin America Research Review 45:1.

Effect of Worldwide Oil Price Fluctuations on Biomass Fuel Use and Child Respiratory Health: Evidence from Guatemala. coauthored with Atheendar Venkataramani. 2011.  American Journal of Public Health. 101:9.


Distributive Politics and Conditional Cash Transfers: The Case of Brazil's Bolsa Família. 2012. World Development. 40:5.


Working Papers

Does Saving Lives Win Votes? Presented at the American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting in 2014. (Work in progress, please do not cite without permission.)

Voting for Change: How Bureaucratic Capacity Leads to Programmatic Voting in Brazil. Presented at Yale University's Comparative Politics Workshop in 2012 and the Midwest Political Science Association's Annual Meeting in 2013.

Rise of the Bureaucrats. Presented at the American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting in 2012 and Yale University's Center for Comparative Research's biannual conference in 2013.

Affirmative Action in Brazil: Will Racial Quotas Alleviate Inequality?. Presented at the comparative politics workshops of the University of Chicago and Yale University in 2005 and 2006.