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Thiago de Lucena

Thiago de Lucena


Working Papers:

Leadership & Gender Composition in Top Positions: Evidence from the Brazilian Public Sector (JMP)

Despite major progress in fighting gender inequality over the past sixty years, women remain heavily underrepresented at the top of the status distribution in both the public and private sectors. Surprisingly, very little evidence exists about how female leaders may curb the underrepresentation problem at top positions. Only a few studies have evaluated this relation, presenting mixed results on general effects and scarce evidence on mechanisms.  Using a Regression Discontinuity Design on close elections in Brazil, I analyze how the election of a female mayor affects the gender composition gap of top municipal executives. I show that electing a female mayor on a close race increases the share of female managers by 17 %. This increase doesn't come at the cost of observed quality of employees. I also present evidence that public sector-specific and supply-side channels are unlikely to explain my findings; instead, an increase in gender-inclusive policies within female-led governments suggests that homophily may be a driver of the results. 

Corruption, Political Participation and Outsider Politicians (w/ Socorro P. Martínez)

Recent events in democracies worldwide have drawn a lot of attention to the relationship between corruption and political participation. Some studies have focused on understanding the impact of corruption on the level of trust in institutions. This paper uses a random corruption audit program in Brazil to cast light on the relationship between corruption and political participation. Different from other studies, we analyze corruption impacts at a different electoral level from where the corruption act took place. Empirical analysis show that while being a standard deviation away from the mean of corruption violations and having random audits released before the election is not associated with a decrease in null voting on the local level, being in the same position of the corruption violation distribution and having random audits released prior to the election is associated with a 4\% decrease in null voting in gubernatorial elections. This result casts light on possible spillover effects of corruption and suggests that it may increase political participation when we isolate supply effects. Furthermore, higher corruption and pre-election report release also increase votes for outsider politicians when combined with media prevalence.    

Work in Progress:

Inspirational Effects in Education: Detangling Between Policy and Aspirations

Since Beaman, Duflo, Pande, Topalova (2012) seminal work on the relationship between leadership and aspirations, and educational outcomes several other studies have evaluated the impact of female politicians on female aspirations. Yet, difference in policies implemented by male and female can confound the interpretation of results. To detangle between these channels this literature has focused on controlling for observables. I make use of the timing of a national tertiary entry exam and tertiary education to, by design, separate between policy and inspirational effects. I show that electing female politicians has no short-term impact on outcomes before a politician take charge in office, hinting that either inspirational have a time component or that part of this literature interprets policy effects as inspirational.

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