I am an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) for Political Economy at University of Innsbruck. I am also an Associated Researcher at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics at the University of Cologne and Co-PI in the Collaborative Research Center 1342 at University of Bremen. I received my doctoral training at the graduate program of the International MIMG_8836smallax Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy (IMPRS–SPCE) of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and the University of Cologne. I was a visiting researcher at Duke University, Columbia University, the Inter-American Development Bank, Cornell University and Vanderbilt University.

My research interests center on comparative politics, comparative political economy and development politics with an emphasis on low- and middle income economies. I focus on the micro foundation of social policy and taxation in developing countries, taking into account the central characteristics of the informal economy, labor market dualization and clientelism. My most recent projects furthermore explore the impact of crime and crime victimization on political behavior and individual preferences. My work has appeared in: Politics & Society, Political Behavior, Socio-Economic Review, Political Studies, Latin American Politics & Society, Social Policy & Administration, and  Journal of Politics in Latin America among others.


November 2021

My new research project “Varieties of Violence” received funding from the TWF. The project investigates the implications of violence on preference formation in Mexico with survey experiments. Project period: 2022-2024.

May 2021

Our paper “The Welfare State amid Crime: How Victimization and Perceptions of Insecurity Affect Social Policy Preferences in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Politics & Society 48 (3): 389-422″ co-authored by Melina Altamirano and Sandra Ley was awarded the Seligson Prize 2021 (Vanderbilt University) for the best scholarly work using LAPOP’s AmericasBarometer published in the last two years. We are highly honored and thank the LAPOP lab and the committee members, Jana Morgan of the University of Tennessee (chair), Natália Bueno of Emory University, and Germán Feierherd of the Universidad de San Andrés, for this wonderful recognition!

March 2021

My co-authored paper “Varieties of Economic Vulnerability: Evidence on Social Policy Preferences and Labor Informality from Mexico” with Melina Altamirano (Colmex) and Franziska Deeg (University of Cologne) based on our survey data collected in Mexico in 2018 (CRC Project B03) has just been accepted for publication at Latin American Politics & Society. Very excited to see this out!

January 2021

The Pre-Analysis Plan of our electricity field experiment in Uruguay, developed together with Santiago López-Cariboni (project leader), Irene Menéndez and Armin von Schiller, is now registered on EGAP.

January 18th 2021

My co-authored paper with Saskia P. Ruth “Does Clientelism Hinder Progressive Social Policy in Latin America?” is now available online in Acta Politica. Saskia and I started this project while we were both working on our PhD theses in Cologne a couple of years ago. We are really excited to see this work out!

November 5th-6th 2020

Ida Bastiaens (Fordham University) and I presented our paper “Funding Universal Public Goods in a Globalized World: Who Will Carry the Tax Burden?” based on the face-to-face survey data collected in Sao Paulo State, Brazil, at the workshop “The Politics of Taxing the Rich: Declining Tax Rates in Times of Rising Inequalities” organized by Hanna Lierse (University of Bremen) and Patrick Emmenegger (University of St. Gallen). Thanks for the great feedback and lively discussion!

October 15th-16th 2020

Our workshop on the “Politics of Crime Control and Social Protection” brought together a set of fantastic papers which study penal policies, crime and the welfare state from a diversity of perspectives. Thanks everyone for contributing your work and for these inspiring two workshop days!

August 11th 2020

The Special Issue “Societies under Stress” that I organized together with Sarah Brooks, Peter Starke, Marianne Ulriksen and Georg Wenzelburger has just been published in Politics & Society. It features an Introduction from David Garland, and 4 original articles from Josh Guetzkow, Stephen Farrall, Emily Gray & Phil Mike Jones, Gustavo Flores-Macías & Mariano Sánchez-Talanquer and my co-authored paper with Melina Altamirano & Sandra LeyThe Welfare State amid Crime“. Very excited to see this wonderful collection out! Thanks everyone for the great contributions.

July 2020

Our report on the new LAPOP survey item on labor informality from the latest round (2018/19), that we suggested to include in the LAPOP standard battery has just been published in LAPOP’s Insights Series. Thanks to Noam Lupu and Elizabeth Zechmeister for inviting us to contribute this research note. You can find it here: Baker, Andy, Berens, Sarah, Feierherd, Germán & Menéndez, Irene (2020) Labor Informality and Its Political Consequences in Latin America. Insight Series, No. 144.

My co-authored article “The Welfare State amid Crime: How Victimization and Perception of Insecurity Affect Social Policy Preferences in Latin America and the Caribbean” with Melina Altamirano and Sandra Ley is forthcoming in Politics & Society.

The chapter on “What do people want? Explaining Voter Tax Preferences” written together with Margarita Gelepithis was accepted for the Handbook on the “The Politics of Taxation” organized by Laura Seelkopf & Lukas Hakelberg.

May 2020

I joined the Department of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck as an Assistant Professor for Political Economy.

April 28th 2020

Together with my co-author Sabrina Karim (Cornell University) we presented our paper “Conflict or Crime? How victimization shapes preferences for public goods provision in Liberia” on Friday, April 24th (2pm CST) at the Online Peace Science Colloquium (OPSC), hosted by Cassy Dorff and Bradley C. Smith at Vanderbilt University. Omar García-Ponce (George Washington University) and Nicolas Barnes (Grinnell College) served as discussants. You can see the presentation and discussion on YouTube here. Thanks for having us!

December 20th 2020

Franziska Deeg and I gave an interview about our data collection in Mexico and Brazil within our CRC project at University of Bremen. You can read the full text here.

November 2019

Margarita Gelepithis and I just completed our MTurk Survey experiment in the U.S. with a sample of 2,200 respondents. We are interested in the determinants of public support for embedded liberalism. The experiments speak to the question under what conditions do people demand protection in the form of restrictive trade and immigration policies, rather than protection in the form of the welfare state.

August 21st 2019

My book review on “Democracies in Peril: Taxation and Redistribution Globalizing Economies. By Ida Bastiaens and Nita Rudra. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 342p.“, published by Perspectives on Politics (Vol. 17, Issue 3, pp. 932-934), is now available online.

August 2nd 2019

My paper “Opting for Exit: Is Informalization a Function of Social Policy Discontent and Lack of Good Governance?” was just accepted for publication in Latin American Politics & Society.

July 2019

Our randomized public opinion survey in Sao Paulo State for the project B03 (CRC 1342) is about to go into the field at the end of the month. Franziska Deeg and I appreciate the great work of our partner IBOPE on the ground.

June 24th 2019

My co-authored paper together with Achim Kemmerling on “Labor Divides, Informality and Regulation: The public opinion on labor law in Latin America” is now available online in the Journal of Politics in Latin America.

June 20th 2019

I’m looking forward to presenting my co-authored paper with Sabrina Karim (Cornell University) on “Conflict or Crime? How victimization shapes preferences for public goods provision in Liberia” at the upcoming EPSA conference in Belfast. Have a look at Panel PE15: Preferences for Public Spending.

June 13th 2019

My book review on “Democracies in Peril: Taxation and Redistribution Globalizing Economies. By Ida Bastiaens and Nita Rudra. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 342p.” was accepted for publication in Perspectives on Politics, Volume 17, Issue 3. It was a pleasure to read and review this fantastic book on the challenges for taxation in developing countries.

May 23rd-24th 2019

On my way to beautiful Lake Constance to present my co-authored work with David Brady on ethnic, linguistic and religious heterogeneity on public goods preferences at the DvPW Annual Political Economy Conference at University of Konstanz.

May 8th 2019

Franziska Deeg and I presented first insights from our experimental survey from Mexico at University of Bremen. We gave a talk on “Moving North and Coming Back Migration and Social Policy Preferences in Mexico“. Thanks for the great feedback!

April 2019

My co-author Margarita Gelepithis (University of Warwick) received a seed grant from University of Warwick to fund our project on “Protection by Other Means”. We will run an experimental survey on Mturk in the US.

February 26th 2019

My co-authored paper together with Achim Kemmerling on “Labor Divides, Informality and Regulation: The public opinion on labor law in Latin America” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Politics in Latin America.

February 20th 2019

Just published online in Political Studies: “Apathy or Anger? How Crime Experience  Affects Individual Vote Intention in Latin America and the Caribbean” (with Mirko Dallendörfer).

January 7th 2019

Just arrived in Nashville, TN, as research guest of Noam Lupu at the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Excited to be at the home of LAPOP. Thank you so much for having me!

November 19th 2018

My joint paper “Apathy or Anger? How Crime Experience  Affects Individual Vote Intention in Latin America and the Caribbean” with Mirko Dallendörfer has been accepted for publication in Political Studies.

November 8th 2018

Franziska Deeg and I just registered our Pre-Analysis Plan for our Mexico Project “The Wall and the Welfare State” on EGAP. The project is part of the DFG funded project B03. The survey is now in the field in the Mexican states Puebla and Querétaro.

October 26th 2018

This Friday I will give a talk on Crime and Welfare at the PSAC seminar at the Government Department of Cornell University, during my two month research visit at the Government Department as a guest of Kenneth Roberts. Thanks for having me!

August 30st 2018

My co-author David Brady (UC Riverside) will present our joint work “Ethnic, Linguistic and Religious Heterogeneity and Preferences for Public Goods” at APSA, Boston, in the panel “The Politics of Public Goods Provision in Developing Countries“, Division 12.

July 2018

Together with Georg Wenzelburger from Technical University of Kaiserslautern, I received funding from the conference program of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation to organize the international workshop “Societies under Stress: Investigating the relationship between welfare and penal policies in an era of rising insecurities” at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, in fall 2018. The conference will be supported with 10,000€ by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. In collaboration with Sarah Brooks (OSU), who will host the conference at OSU, Marianne Ulriksen (University of Southern Denmark) and Peter Starke (University of Southern Denmark) as organizing team, the workshop aims at advancing collaborative research on the relationship between social welfare and penal policies across nations. Crime control and social welfare are the ‘left hand and right hand of the state,’ and yet these instruments of social control are usually examined in isolation. The workshop brings together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds to ask: What are the causal links between crime control and social welfare policies? Taking a global perspective, the workshop will address this topic with contributions from different regional contexts such as Latin America, Western Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

June 21st-23rd 2018

Presenting the paper on crime and welfare preferences at EPSA, Vienna.

April 4th-7th 2018

Presenting two papers at MPSA in Chicago. Together with Melina Altamirano (Colmex), and Sandra Ley (CIDE) I organized the panel “Crime, Political Behavior and Policy Preferences“. It was a great pleasure. Many thanks to the paper givers, the wonderful audience and especially to our two highly engaged discussants Sarah Brooks (OSU) and Aldo Ponce (CIDE).

February 2018

Working on a proposal for the recent call of LAPOP to add items on labor informality together with Andy Baker, Germán Feierherd, and Irene Menéndez and supported by individual members of the PESP research network.

January 31st 2018

The call for applications for the PhD  position in the project B03 at University of Cologne is out! Please contact me or Philip Manow if you have further questions on the position.

January 19th 2018

Call for application for the PhD position in the project B03 at University of Bremen is out. The call for the second PhD position, located at University of Cologne, will be out soon.

January 18th 2018

Our article “Welfare State Structure, Inequality, and Public Attitudes Towards Progressive Taxation” (joint work of Margarita Gelepithis, University of Warwick, and me) has just been published online at the Socio-Economic Review.

December 13th-14th 2017

Peter Starke and Marianne Ulriksen from University of Southern Denmark are organizing a second round of the workshop “The left hand and the right hand: Linking the politics of social welfare and crime control” in Copenhagen. I’m looking forward to present insights from the co-authored project together with Melina Altamirano (Colmex) and Sandra Ley (CIDE) on social policy preferences and crime experience in Latin America at the meeting. Thanks for inviting me

November 27th 2017

The Collaborative Research Center 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy” at University of Bremen was approved by the German Research Foundation! Together with Philip Manow (University of Bremen) I will conduct the project B03 “International Complementarities in the Development of National Welfare States: The Transatlantic Sphere 1870-2020” as principal investigators during the next four years.

October 30th 2017

This Monday I’m giving a talk at the Comparative Political Economy Research Workshop at University of Konstanz on crime victimization and voting behavior in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thanks for having me!

12 pm at Room G308