Job Market Candidates in 2023/2024
Economics & Econometrics
Federica Braccioli (Currently: Postdoctoral Researcher, IAE-CSIC and Barcelona School of Economics)
Job Market Paper: The Institutional Role of the Italian Mafia: Enforcing Contracts When the State Does Not
paper | abstract
Italy has one of the slowest judicial systems in Europe. At the same time, there exists anecdotal evidence suggesting that informal contract enforcement can be provided by organized crime. I present a simple theoretical framework to explain why citizens may turn to the Mafia for contract enforcement when the State is increasingly unable to fulfil this service. I empirically test the main model prediction using a novel database of Mafia-controlled areas across Italy between 2014 and 2019. I obtain confidential yearly data from the Superior Council of the Judiciary about the judge’s retirement, which I use as a source of exogenous variation in the State’s enforcement capacity. Results indicate that the Mafia expands its control over the territory when the State weakens its contract enforcement capacity.
Erik Katovich (Currently: Postdoctoral Scholar, Institute of Economics and Econometrics, University of Geneva)
Job Market Paper: Does Local Politics Drive Tropical Land-Use Change? Property-Level Evidence from the Amazon
paper | abstract
Land conversion to agriculture is a defining environmental challenge for tropical regions. We construct a novel panel dataset of land-use changes on the properties of municipal politicians and campaign donors in the Brazilian Amazon to assess channels through which local politics may drive land conversion. Estimating event studies around close mayoral elections, we find that large landholders significantly increase soy adoption and cultivation while the candidate they donated to is in office. This suggests landholders invest in political influence to overcome barriers to agricultural intensification. In turn, mayors who receive landholder donations govern in favor of agriculture – increasing spending on agricultural promotion and distribution of rural credit. While agricultural promotion “returns the favor” for mayors’ donors, it is not precisely targeted. We document large spillovers onto non-donor properties, resulting in increased deforestation and environmental violations. Results reveal how patronage and special interests drive land-use change and deforestation in the Amazon.
Professor Dominic Parker (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Professor Steven Poelhekke (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Professor Julien Daubanes (Technical University of Denmark)
Professor Giacomo de Giorgi