LAURENCE ANTHONY GO
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
I am a Juan de la Cierva fellow at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. My research interests center on political economy, development 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.
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.
Journal of Public Economics
200 (August 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.
Comparative Political Studies
55, no. 4 (March 2022): 588-627
This paper examines whether elections in countries where migrants reside affect turnout in their homeland elections. We assemble a novel dataset of migrant turnout in 1,267 elections across 43 origin countries and 217 destination countries from 2000-2019. Using the quasi-random timing of elections between countries, we find that migrant turnout in homeland elections that occur after elections in the country of residence increases by 7 pp relative to homeland elections that occur before. The findings are consistent with a model of salience where exposure to an election increases interest in the political process and drives migrants to participate in their homeland elections. Close electoral results rather than campaigns explain our findings.
In the Interest of Time: Timing of Elections and Interest in Politics Using Cross-Country Surveys
Interest in politics is varied: it is low in some countries, but high in others. Individual factors such as age, education and income are also important determinants. We study the role of contextual factors like elections in raising people's interest in politics using a unique time-based identification strategy,
We study how and to what extent emigrants change their political preferences from afar using a novel dataset on emigrant votes for each country of residence for more than 40 countries of origin.
Absence Makes the Vote Grow Farther: Emigrant Voting Patterns Across 180 Homeland Elections
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Effects of Migrant Enfranchisement on Remittances and Labor Policies
Migrant enfranchisement is the enfranchisement issue of the 21st century. We study the effect of granting migrants (non-resident citizens) the right to vote in their homeland elections on remittances, labor policies and other outcomes.
Pride and Prejudice: Impact of National Days on Attitudes Towards Immigration
What drives nationalism? Using differential timing between national days and various political surveys, we provide empirical evidence that national days increase levels of nationalism. We explore the effects of this on political perception and behaviour.
Economic Nationalism and Industrial Development: Evidence from the 1975 Naturalisation Law
The rise of economic nationalism has been driven by factors such as populism, security concerns and political ideologies. Its impact is less known, which we study through a 1975 naturalisation law that allowed foreigners to invest in previously restricted industries.