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LAURENCE ANTHONY GO

Post-Doctoral Researcher
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

I am a Post-Doctoral Researcher of MIGRADEMO, an ERC-funded project 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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DEVELOPMENT
POLITICS
LABOR

RESEARCH

We study the impact of rank-based decision-making in a multi-member plurality electoral system by examining the decisions of Philippine legislative councilors to run for and win higher office. By focusing on multi-member plurality elections, we identify the effect of rank amongst politicians that hold the same office and received a similar number of votes. To identify the causal effect of rank, we conduct a close-elections RD at the village, municipality, and province levels. Our main result is the first place effect: incumbent first placers are 5–9% (1–4%) more likely to run (win) in future elections than incumbent second placers. The first place effect is unique among rank effects: subsequent rank comparisons yield substantially weaker or insignificant results. Further evidence suggests that a variety of potential mechanisms—party alignment, strategic voting, differential levels of media exposure or the better performance of first placers—do not seem to explain our results. These results improve our understanding of the variety of ways rank effects interact with electoral systems.

DEVELOPMENT
POLITICS

Journal of Public Economics (2021)

Political dynasties exist in practically every type of democracy, but take different forms in different places. Yet the types of dynastic structures have remained unexplored. We argue that horizontal dynasties—multiple members from the same political family holding different political offices concurrently—affect policymaking by replacing potential political rivals, who may oppose an incumbent’s policy choices, with a member of the family. But in developing countries, the policy change that accrues from dynastic status may not lead to higher levels of economic development. We test this argument’s implications in the Philippines. Using 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) direct institutional constraints are the mechanism that drives this core result, and (iii) horizontally dynastic mayors do not lead to higher economic growth economic growth or lower poverty.

POLITICS
DEVELOPMENT

Comparative Political Studies (2021)

WORKS IN PROGRESS

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

DEV
LAB
POL

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

DEV
ORG

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

DEV
LAB
ORG

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.