Research

PUBLICATIONS

Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians (2014), with Piera Bello, Alessandra Casarico and Paola Profeta, Journal of Public Economics, 118: 62-74.

Media: Quote di genere per le candidature migliori”, InGenere, 27/08/2014 (article in Italian).

Affirmative Action and the Power of the Elderly (2015), with Alessandra Casarico and Paola Profeta, CESifo Economic Studies, 61(1): 148-164.

WORKING PAPERS

Political Contributions and Public Procurement: Evidence from Lithuania (2017), Dondena Working Paper No. 100. Most recent version here.

This paper studies whether firms trade political contributions for public procurement contracts. Combining data on Lithuanian government tenders, corporate donors and firm characteristics, I examine how a ban on corporate donations affects the awarding of procurement contracts to companies that donated in the past. Consistent with political favoritism, contributing firms’ probability of winning goes down by five percentage points as compared to that of non-donor firms after the ban. Evidence on bidding and victory margins suggests that corporate donors might receive information on competing bids. I assess that tax payers save almost one percent of GDP thanks to the reform.

Media:

Draudimas įmonėms finansuoti partijas sutaupo šimtus milijonų“, Dovaidas Pabiržis, Veidas.lt, 20/04/2016 (article in Lithuanian).

“Tu man, aš tau: politinių aukų analizė”, Dalius Simėnas, Verslo Zinios, 02/06/2016 (article in Lithuanian).

“Tyrimas: labiausiai partijas remti apsimokėjo PST, Panevėžio keliams, Mitnijai”, Dalius Simėnas, Verslo Zinios, 02/06/2016 (article in Lithuanian).

Awards:

Best Paper Award – 2016 RES Symposium of Junior Researchers.

Unicredit Best Presentation Prize –  2015 Petralia Workshop.

Let the Voters Choose Women (2016), CESifo Working Paper No. 5693 with Alessandra Casarico, Paola Profeta, and Giulia Savio.

In the context of wide gender gaps in politics, this paper studies a new policy, which introduces double preference voting conditioned on gender and guarantees a minimum presence of both genders on candidate lists. We focus on Italian local elections, which were subject to this policy for the first time in 2013. Using a regression discontinuity design, we estimate that the reform raises the share of elected female politicians by 22 percentage points. The result is mainly driven by the increase in preference votes cast for female candidates, suggesting a salient role of double preference voting in promoting female empowerment in politics.

Media: “Se il nuovo Senato è per soli uomini”, lavoce.info, 29/01/16 (article in Italian)

WORK IN PROGRESS

Bureaucrat Discretion and Supplier Selection in Public Procurement, with C.Giorgiantonio, S.Mocetti and T.Orlando, in progress.

Value of Political Office, in progress.

I study changes in income of Lithuanian parliamentary candidates using their tax declarations’ data. I adopt Regression Discontinuity Design to establish whether political office yields private monetary returns. The results show that net income of elected candidates grows at a double pace compared to unsuccessful ones. I find that large parliamentary wages alone cannot explain the observed difference, which indicates that political office brings additional non-wage income to elected politicians. However, there are no significant differences in the growth of declared net wealth between elected and non-elected candidates. Finally, I examine returns to office for politicians connected to former Soviet elite and find that such political affiliations do not deliver more economic gains.