co-director of the Berkeley Center for Economics & Politics, conducts wide-ranging empirical research on effective governance and corruption in developing economies.
Frederico S. Finan, co-director of the Berkeley Center for Economics & Politics, conducts wide-ranging empirical research on effective governance and corruption in developing economies.
A dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S., Finan uses the analytical tools of economics and social science to explore the incentives for good governance, the impact of corruption, and the effect of transparency on political accountability.
Working in Brazil, Finan has found that higher wages increased the productivity of local legislators, increased political competition, and attracted higher-quality candidates. In a separate paper, he found dramatic evidence that first-term mayors who were up for re-election achieved much better results in using federal money than lame-duck mayors. In a study on the impact of corruption on educational outcomes, Finan found that cities with a record of misusing federal education funds also had higher drop-out rates, teachers with less training, and classrooms with less equipment.
In Mexico, Finan and Ernesto Dal Bó co-authored a study of whether higher salaries would attract higher-quality civil servants. Working with the Mexican government, the researchers found that higher salary offers attracted job candidates who not only had better qualifications but were also more idealistic and more committed to public service. The allure of higher wages did not “crowd out” pubic-spirited applicants.
Finan earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Arizona, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
He has been a consultant to the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy Institute, and the Federal Reserve. He is currently a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research; an affiliate of the University of California’s Center for Effective Global Action, and an affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.