Rogerio Bianchi Santarrosa

I am a PhD job market candidate at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia.

My research interests lie within the fields of Development, Political Economy, and Applied Econometrics, with a special focus on the political institutions of developing countries and conflict. My job market paper uses different methods (theory, causal inference, and the estimation of a structural model) to uncover the allocation of political power in weak states and its associated causes of civil conflict.

I will be available for interviews at the 2018 CEEE (Toronto) and at the 2019 AEA/ASSA meetings (Atlanta).



Abstract: Civil wars are a regularly recurring phenomenon undermining development in weak states. Faced with the possibility of costly conflict, why don’t leaders share power? I investigate, theoretically and empirically, the role of a novel commitment problem. The model embodies a leader who can appease challengers by sharing power, but in doing so increases their effectiveness at launching a rebellion. I show that commitment deteriorates as the opposition becomes stronger, and derive testable non-monotonic implications of group strength and distributional shocks on power shared and conflict. As challengers become stronger, the likelihood of inclusion (positive transfers) increases until a threshold, after which the leader prefers to exclude an opposing group and face conflict. I test the model using data on politically relevant ethnic groups in Africa and Asia, their access to executive power, and armed organizations claiming to represent them, using: (i) within country variation in population share to proxy for group strength; (ii) quasi-randomly split groups between countries; and (iii) geo-referenced data on the homeland of ethnic groups, cropland maps, and international prices to identify conflict-inducing distributional economic shocks within a country. The empirical findings support the theory. Finally, I structurally estimate the model parameters and perform policy relevant counterfactuals.

[go to paper]


The effects of ethnic group size on economic development
Power and the construction of political ethnic identity: Evidence from Africa
How are wages determined? A quasi-experimental test of wage determination theories (with Joao Galindo da Fonseca)
Labor market General Equilibrium effects of Conditional Cash Transfers (with Anderson Frey)


Teaching Assistant positions:


  • ECON 441 – The Process of Economic Development (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • ECON 485 – Political Economy (2018)
  • ECON 301 – Intermediate Microeconomics (2017)
  • ECON 221 – Introduction to Strategic Thinking (2015)


I was coordinator of the Teaching Assistant Training Workshop at the Vancouver School of Economics, UBC in 2016 and 2017.