LAURENCE ANTHONY GO

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

I am a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. My research interests center on economic development, and lie in the intersection of political economy and labor economics. I completed my PhD in Applied Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. I also earned my MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics at the London School of Economics and my BS in Business Economics at the University of the Philippines. I also served as a consultant at the World Bank.

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RESEARCH

 / JOB MARKET PAPER /

Beyond Incumbency:

Decoupling Rank Effects and the Incumbency 

Advantage

We argue that the canonical literature on the incumbency advantage—the gains from holding political office on future political success—fails to account for rank effects—the benefits to ranking higher in elections. Incumbency advantage is thus consistently overestimated. To identify the causal effect of rank while holding incumbency constant, we conduct a close-elections RD on multi-member legislative councils in the Philippines. We establish that (i) first-placers are 5- 9% more likely to run in and win future elections than second-placers, (ii) rank effects also matter for lower ranks, and (iii) party and voter coordination do not drive our results.

When Running for Office Runs in the Family: 

Horizontal Dynasties, Policy and Development in the Philippines

Political dynasties exist in practically every variant of democracy. Yet the literature has focused mostly on vertical dynasties that exist across time. We argue that horizontal dynasties—multiple members from a family holding different political offices concurrently—lead to differential policy outcomes versus non-horizontal dynasties. In our context this means higher levels of government spending. Horizontal dynasties increase spending by replacing potential political opponents who may oppose policy with members of the family. But in a developing country context, policy change may not lead to higher levels of economic development. We test this argument’s implications in the Philippines. Employing a close elections regression discontinuity design on a sample of mayors, we show that (i) horizontally dynastic mayors have higher levels of government spending, (ii) increasing local government spending is driven by preference alignment, and (iii) horizontally dynastic mayors do not lead to greater economic wealth or lower poverty.

WORKS IN PROGRESS

Migration and Voting Networks: Evidence from Filipino Migrants in the United Arab Emirates

We study the impact of migration and remittances on local elections. We link novel data on Filipino migrants with confidential data on migrants to the UAE.

Economic Nationalism, Firm Growth, Industrial Development: Evidence from Naturalization Laws

We exploit the "Mass Naturalization Act of 1975" to evaluate the impact of loosening barriers to firm ownership on industrial development and firm growth.

Minimum Wage Determination: Evidence from Regional Wage Boards in the Philippines

We explore an understudied phenomenon in the minimum wage literature: how minimum wages are determined. We use a novel dataset on wage board decisions and study firm and labor responses.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Edifici E1, Centre de Documentació Europea, Campus Universidad Autónoma de Bellaterra, 08293 Cerdanyola del Valles, Barcelona

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