We’re excited to feature another excellent group of 2021 job market candidates working on Historical Political Economy (for our earlier job market posts, please see here and here). Take a look at some of the impressive papers and projects being done by these up-and-coming scholars. Please read, cite, share, and promote this work. if you’re hiring, please keep these candidates in mind!
While the political science job market season is in full swing, the economics one is just getting started. If you are on the job market this year, work on HPE, and would like to be featured in a future Broadstreet post, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with one of the editors. We’d love to highlight your work.
Below is the list of candidates (in the order in which their information was received).
Building Loyalty through Personal Connections: Evidence from the Spanish Empire
The personal loyalties of high-ranking officials can help overcome or exacerbate agency problems. The Spanish Empire promoted links between colonial officials and their superiors in Spain and discouraged social ties between them and local elites. I use superiors’ entries and exits as within-official shocks to connections to estimate their effect on promotions and performance. I find that connected ministers were more likely to be promoted and raised more revenue. On the other hand, ministers with more links to local elites collected less revenue. These patterns are explained by personal connections, defined as sustained in-person interactions during their early careers. I also validate the connections measure by showing that they predict active friendships.
Internal Migration and the Diffusion of Schooling in the US
This paper explores the role of internal migrants in the rise of schools in the United States over the second half of the 19th century. I find that, controlling for wealth, family characteristics, and occupations of parents, children of migrants coming from more educated states were more likely to be enrolled in schools. These differences in preferences for education created spillovers for the local population: native parents were more likely to enroll their children in a school if their neighbors migrated from a more educated state. I digitize the Census of Social Statistics that contains a detailed county-level survey of education and taxes from 1850-1870. Using data on school finances, I show that a likely channel was increased public spending on schools, which significantly expanded access to education. To account for the migrants’ selection of destinations based on the local level of schooling, I use a new instrumental variable: the similarity in potential yields between the origins and the destinations.
Constructing International Commercial Arbitration: Traders, Lawyers and the Competition for Authority Over Global Commerce
My dissertation investigates the causes and consequences of international commercial arbitration (ICA), a transnational, privately-run system of dispute resolution at the core of global trade and investment today. Traditionally, ICA was an informal, peer-driven alternative to judicial dispute resolution. It was limited in scope and generally carried no legally enforceable sanctions. I argue that a new vision of commercial arbitration took shape in the United States in the early 20th century, driven by lawyers whose business was threatened by their exclusion from the increasingly popular practice of arbitration. This new vision successfully increased the involvement of the legal profession and at the same time broadened the scope of arbitration while maintaining minimal judicial oversight. I then trace the transnational efforts to win the support of the League of Nations (and later the United Nations) to assist in the diffusion of legal protections for ICA around the globe through the promulgation of multilateral treaties and model laws. Finally, using a variety of data collected from leading international commercial arbitration centers, I show that the promotion of ICA as a substitute for national courts has led to underinvestment in public contract enforcement institutions.
Indirect Rule and Public Goods Provision: Evidence from Colonial India
Postdoctoral Researcher, Hertie School, Berlin, Germany
Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Rochester
My dissertation examined the policy implications of principal-agent relations in multi-tier political systems. It explored the accountability trade-off that local officials face in several cross-country contexts. This is one of the dissertation papers. It studies devolution in the case of India and provides evidence of a persistent effect of indirect rule on contemporary local public goods provision. In particular, it explores the long-term effects of directly and indirectly ruled areas. It looks at a single region of India, which has areas that historically experienced institutions of both direct and indirect rule. The theoretical mechanism focuses on the differences in the local leaders’ incentives and emphasizes that the colonizer’s formal accountability is more efficient than informal accountability in the absence of effective control mechanisms. Unlike local princes, colonizers in directly ruled territories had stronger incentives to provide goods, because of more restriction by the necessity to extract resources. I use village-level data and a spatial regression discontinuity design to compare territories with direct and indirect rule. Empirical results show that indirectly ruled areas had local leaders with weaker incentives to provide public goods. Through the mechanism of physical persistence, this led to long-term negative effects from indirect rule on public goods provision.
Authoritarian Public Services: Coalitional Conflict and Primary Education in Post-Revolutionary Mexico
Why do authoritarian regimes sometimes invest in the large-scale provision of services that improve the well-being of their citizens? What do they gain from these policies? Existing accounts typically assume that autocracies provide access to public services despite themselves—to prevent a popular uprising, to buy off the people’s will, or due to an ideological change. In contrast, I argue that the provision of public services is compatible with the functioning of autocracies. Young autocracies are unstable not only because of their lack of popular support, as the literature assumes; also, because leaders and subordinates have similar bases of support. In such context, the leader of the coalition has incentives to steal the popular bases of the subordinates with the help of the bureaucracy, especially teachers, who are best positioned to create institutionalized state-society links. I develop this account through the case of post-revolutionary Mexico, using a combination of archival data, secondary sources, and regression analysis. I thoroughly document that, contrary to their initial commitments to a federal constitution, the revolutionary leaders progressively displaced subnational schools, which were in the hands of their subordinates. I also show that the subordinates resisted and sabotaged national education, and I use subnational data on the supply of schools to test my argument against alternative explanations.