Since October 2015, I am a Junior Research Professor at the Institute of Political Economy and Governance (IPEG), Barcelona. Before that, I was a post-doctoral fellow at the Juan March Institute in Madrid. I received my Ph.D. from the NYU Politics Department in 2012.
My research, which lies at the intersection of comparative and international political economy, examines the origins of fiscal capacity from three different angles: war, trade, and political competition.
War and Fiscal Capacity: Building on Charles Tilly's work, I pin down the conditions under which war leads to state building around the globe. I argue that war is not as important as the way it is financed. To test this proposition and address endogeneity concerns, I rely on international financial collapses in the long-nineteenth century. Results show that tax-financed war does makes states, while war financed by external debt doesn’t. If any, the latter leads to weaker states. You can find the paper here.
Trade and Fiscal Capacity: Using game theoretical and quantitative methods, I show that tariff protection may be exchanged for tax compliance by key domestic producers. In separate papers, I show evidence of this exchange in pre-modern Europe and the developing world today. You can find the papers here and here.
Political Competition and Fiscal Capacity: Drawing on nineteenth-century archival data on tax and electoral returns, I find that modern taxation in Western Europe does not result from inter-class redistribution (or "threats from below"), but from strategic moves by incumbent elites to delay political and economic change. This research informs the political economy of modern taxation in the developing world today. You can find the papers here, here and here.
Currently, I’m drafting a book manuscript that traces the long-term effects of war on fiscal capacity and limited government.