Information and influence in politics


Friendly Lobbying under Time Pressure. (with Emiel Awad)
American Journal of Political Science (forthcoming).
Summary: We propose a dynamic model of informational lobbying and show that pressure to conclude policies quickly restricts the set of allied legislators that lobbyists can rely on as information intermediaries. Rather than making politicians rush deliberations, time pressure can actually lead to better policies.

The value of Confidential Policy Information: Persuasion, Transparency, and Influence.
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 2021.
Winner of the POLECON UK Best Graduate Paper Award
Summary: I show that policy makers can reduce the influence of lobbyists by strategically designing the type of information that they obtain from government agencies.

Negotiating under Political Uncertainty: National Elections and the Dynamics of International Negotiations. (with Mareike Kleine).
British Journal of Political Science, 2019.
Summary: We show that the duration of policy making in the EU significantly increases around national elections, especially so for close elections in large member states. This is consistent with national politicians preferring to maintain some ambiguity about their policy positions.


Political Accountability during Crises: Evidence from 40 years of Financial Policies (with Orkun Saka and Yuemei Ji)

Persuasive Lobbying and the Value of Connections (with Emiel Awad)

Media Coverage of Experts and Politicians: Evidence from a Survey Experiment (with Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen)

Who do Donors Give to? (with Nelson Ruiz)

Incentives and communication in public organisations

Working papers

Spillovers in State Capacity Building: Evidence from the Digitization of Land Records in Punjab. (with Shan Aman-Rana, draft available upon request)
Summary: We exploit the staggered roll-out of a reform that digitized land records to show that the reform led to a significant decrease in agricultural tax collection. The effect is not driven by a change in the size of the tax base but by a decrease in the performance of bureaucrats who lost influence over taxpayers.

Informal Fiscal Systems in Developing Countries. (with Shan Aman-Rana and Sandip Sukhtankar)
Summary: We document that bureaucrats in developing countries often contribute financially to the provision of public services. Because these bureaucrats also often collect bribes from the public, we can interpret corruption as an informal system of redistribution. We propose a model to understand the information and political frictions that sustain these informal fiscal systems.

Gender and Choice over Co-workers: Experimental Evidence. (with Shan Aman-Rana, Brais Álvarez Pereira and Shamyla Chaudry)
Summary: We find that a randomly-allocated co-worker can decrease the performance of a worker. This is particularly the case for female workers collaborating with male co-workers in gender-stereotypical tasks. Allocating a co-worker that the participants had listed as a preferred co-worker alleviates this problem. This is consistent with the workers engaging in social signaling with co-workers they don't know well.

Doors and Perceptions: Motivations, Beliefs, and the Returns to Canvassing.
Summary: I show that the information transmitted by political activists in electoral campaigns depends on their motivation for campaigning which, in turn, depends on how persuasive they expect that information to be. This interaction should be taken into account when extrapolating the returns measured by field experiments on door-to-door canvassing and when organising political campaigns.


Efficiency of Discretionary Allocations: Evidence from the Pakistani Administrative Service. (with Shan Aman-Rana, Gaurab Aryal, and Zahid Habib Bhutta)