2022 Global Development Postdoctoral Fellows Conference
The King Center on Global Development and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law hosted the 2022 Global Development Postdoctoral Fellows Conference on Friday, September 23, 2022 at the Lucas Conference Center in the Landau Economics Building. The conference featured talks from six current postdoctoral fellows on topics ranging from favoritism in bureaucracies to anti-sexual harrassment training strategies.
Please see the online agenda for the full schedule, speakers, and session information.
The conference was open to Stanford faculty, researchers, and graduate students.
Friday, September 23, 2022
Breakfast, Welcome and Introductions
Juan Felipe Riaño discussed the interplay of bureaucratic nepotism and anti-nepotism legislation in the context of Colombia’s modern bureaucracy. He explained how the pervasiveness of close family connections in the public administration negatively impacts the performance of public sector agencies; how connected bureaucrats receive higher salaries and are more likely to be hierarchically promoted but are negatively selected in terms of public sector experience, education, and records of misconduct; and how an anti-nepotism reform proved to be limited in its effectiveness.
Tackling Sexual Harassment: Experimental Evidence from India
Karmini Sharma discussed how men can be engaged in women's empowerment by presenting experimental evidence on the effects of a sexual harassment awareness training for college students in New Delhi. Her findings cover how much and how the training works in reducing sexual harassment, as well as its impact on inter-personal relationships between men and women.
Colonial Origins of Fertility Behaviors: Evidence on the Role of Forced Labor Migration in Burkina Faso
What is the long-term impact of forced labor migration in colonial times on fertility preferences and behaviors in Africa? Marie Christelle Mabeu studies the case of Burkina Faso, exploiting its historical, temporary partition into three zones with different needs for labor as a spatial Regression Discontinuity Design. Her findings contribute to the debate on the origins of family institutions and preferences, often mentioned to explain West Africa's exceptional fertility trends, showing that social norms on family formation can change if modes of production change.
Bureaucratic Promotion Criteria in a Neopatrimonial Autocracy: No Merit Without Patronage
Bureaucratic promotion criteria create powerful incentives that shape the behavior of bureaucrats and governance outcomes. Guzel Garifullina argues that in neopatrimonial states, merit and patronage are equally important for promotion, but the specific configuration depends on the political regime. She finds that, in Russia, an authoritarian neopatrimonial regime, candidate attributes associated with patronage and merit are significant contributors to promotion across position types – and patronage plays the role of a necessary condition, without which merit loses its significance.
Religious Norms and Government Responsiveness: Why Governments Distribute in Ramadan
In many Muslim societies, autocrats expand their distributive policies in the religious season of Ramadan. What is the political logic behind this seasonal policy shift? Focusing on Egypt (2014-), Ahmed Ezzeldin Mohamed argues that the regime distributes in Ramadan to contain political threats to its survival by co-opting areas where such threats are more credible. He also finds that distribution in Ramadan translates into reputational gains for the regime, suggesting that autocrats adopt multiple targeting strategies to respond to different threats to their survival, sometimes rewarding threatening groups to buy their acquiescence.
The Ties That Bind or Break: Local Leaders, Dispute Arbitration, and Violence in Nigeria
Communal violence remains an enduring experience across many multi-ethnic societies. In these diverse communities, small-scale clashes can quickly escalate into severe cycles of violence. An interesting pattern emerges across these communities: tensions are nearly ubiquitous---yet, the outbreak of violence is not. What accounts for these pockets of peace within conflict zones? To answer this question, Catlan Reardon advances a theory of violence that hinges on the role of local leaders in dispute resolution, which in turn will influence violent outbreaks. In order to test my theory's predictions, she conducted a randomized controlled trial and surveys with local leaders and citizens in 88 communities across three states in North-Central Nigeria.
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