I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Rice University, with a specialization in Latin American politics. My research focuses on the effect of institutional variables on voter behavior and public opinion more broadly.My dissertation examines the impact of the institutional context on the importance of parties as information shortcuts and as a form of social identity for voters in Latin America. To test the main the theory put forward by the study, I am conducting web surveys with embedded conjoint and vignette experiments in a series of Latin American countries.
Comparative Political Institutions
Representation and Electoral Systems
Latin American And Caribbean Politics
We use two original surveys (including survey experiments) conducted the week before the 2015 elections in the Britain and Denmark to explore the best method for measuring individuals’ knowledge of the partisan distribution of legislative seats in multi-party democracies. The complete lack of such questions in the corpus of survey research on multi-party democracies is a testament to the skepticism that many survey researchers have about the feasibility of such complex questions. However, our analysis, which is the first empirical test of this skepticism, reveals little evidence of respondents’ frustration or high levels of non-cooperation with these questions. Additionally, our survey experiments, which examine the usefulness of different question formats, make it clear that such questions should be framed in terms of the numbers of seats each party holds rather than shares or percentages of seats.
Research on electoral participation at the individual level in Latin America remains scarce. This article extends our knowledge about the individual-level factors that impact citizens’ propensity to vote in the region. Specifically, I assess the link between citizens’ trust in the electoral process and voter turnout using recent survey data from 19 Latin American countries between 2004 and 2014. Using logistic models I show that trust in the fairness of elections has a significant and positive effect on voter turnout across the region, and that this effect is mediated by the existence of compulsory voting laws.