Department of Comparative Politics
New colleague

New PhD candidate at Sampol

Erick Alvarez Barreno is the department's newest PhD candidate

Portrait of Erick
Anna Polster

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Erick began as a PhD candidate at Sampol in April. Before joining the department he worked as a lecturer in Political Science at Universidad de los Hemisferios in Ecuador. He was also a scholarship recipient at FLACSO Ecuador during his M.Res. in Comparative Politics. Before that, he obtained an MA in Political Analysis from the University of Barcelona. He has a strong research background working on projects mainly related to political economy and democracy studies. Kyle Marquardt will be Erick's supervisor.

Erick's research focuses broadly on the intersection between politics and economics. He is particularly interested in surveying how institutions emerge across societies - what are the implications of different institutional designs and how their effects are measured. His PhD project analyzes the consequences of the participation and contestation components of democracy (i.e. enfranchisement and parliamentary constraint). The objectives of the project are twofold. First, examining whether and how these institutions effectively constrain rulers’ behavior in such a way that they influence development outcomes; and second, to explore the channels through which development materialises.   

Empirically, Erick plans to produce new data on key institutional and economic factors dating back to the 18th century. As for methods, he plans to use panel data analysis, sequencing analysis, and an IV approach. With this combined strategy the project hopes to produce stronger inferences and provide insights into the use of instruments to explore the impact of political institutions. His research will thus contribute to shedding light on the study of the causal effects of institutional variations within broader designs such as democracy and dictatorship.