Guillermo Toral

Guillermo Toral

CV (pdf)

Biography

Guillermo Toral is a PhD candidate in Political Science at MIT, where he specializes in comparative politics, political economy, and methods, with a substantive focus on issues of development, governance, and corruption. He is a Visiting Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Ash Center, and a Graduate Research Fellow at MIT GOV/LAB.

His dissertation, “Unpacking patronage: How the different political uses of public employment affect government accountability and effectiveness”, challenges the long-held view that the political appointment of bureaucrats (or patronage, for short) serves only one purpose —the clientelistic hiring of political supporters— and is always detrimental for development. He distinguishes four rationales that drive politicians’ use of public employment, and documents their divergent implications for government accountability and public effectiveness leveraging a variety of methods and data, including experimental and quasi-experimental studies, original face-to-face and online surveys, administrative micro data for the universe of municipal employees, and more than 130 in-depth interviews conducted over 18 months of fieldwork. Beyond the dissertation, Guillermo does research on the behavior and effectiveness of anti-corruption agents, the limits of electoral accountability, and the causes and consequences of the enfranchisement of immigrants.

He holds an Phil in Comparative Politics from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Before coming to MIT, he spent several years working on education policy and programs at the World Bank, in Washington DC and across Latin America.

Papers

"The benefits of patronage: How the political appointment of bureaucrats can enhance their accountability and effectiveness." link

"Accountability backlash: Negative electoral responses to public service provision in Brazil" (with Taylor Boas and F. Daniel Hidalgo) — Under review. link

"Political bureaucratic cycles: How politicians’ responses to electoral incentives and anti-corruption policies disrupt the bureaucracy and service delivery around elections." link

"Information, oversight and compliance: A field experiment on horizontal accountability in Brazil." link

Biography

Guillermo Toral is a PhD candidate in Political Science at MIT, where he specializes in comparative politics, political economy, and methods, with a substantive focus on issues of development, governance, and corruption. He is a Visiting Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Ash Center, and a Graduate Research Fellow at MIT GOV/LAB.

His dissertation, “Unpacking patronage: How the different political uses of public employment affect government accountability and effectiveness”, challenges the long-held view that the political appointment of bureaucrats (or patronage, for short) serves only one purpose —the clientelistic hiring of political supporters— and is always detrimental for development. He distinguishes four rationales that drive politicians’ use of public employment, and documents their divergent implications for government accountability and public effectiveness leveraging a variety of methods and data, including experimental and quasi-experimental studies, original face-to-face and online surveys, administrative micro data for the universe of municipal employees, and more than 130 in-depth interviews conducted over 18 months of fieldwork. Beyond the dissertation, Guillermo does research on the behavior and effectiveness of anti-corruption agents, the limits of electoral accountability, and the causes and consequences of the enfranchisement of immigrants.

He holds an Phil in Comparative Politics from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Before coming to MIT, he spent several years working on education policy and programs at the World Bank, in Washington DC and across Latin America.

Papers

"The benefits of patronage: How the political appointment of bureaucrats can enhance their accountability and effectiveness." link

"Accountability backlash: Negative electoral responses to public service provision in Brazil" (with Taylor Boas and F. Daniel Hidalgo) — Under review. link

"Political bureaucratic cycles: How politicians’ responses to electoral incentives and anti-corruption policies disrupt the bureaucracy and service delivery around elections." link

"Information, oversight and compliance: A field experiment on horizontal accountability in Brazil." link