Thomas Fujiwara is a CIFAR Global Scholar in the Institutions, Organizations and Growth program. He is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Princeton University, a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economics Research (NBER), and an Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). Thomas earned his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2011, and holds a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from the University of São Paulo.
Thomas’ research examines the role of political factors in shaping public policy, especially in developing countries. It seeks to understand why elected officials fail to provide adequate services and how the design of the electoral process can influence policymaking. Thomas has studied the introduction of electronic voting that facilitated voting and promoted the de facto enfranchisement of millions of poorer Brazilians, showing that it shifted policymaking in a way that led to tangible benefits to the poor. Using a field experiment in which Beninese candidates switched from clientelist campaigns to one based on broad public good provision in randomly selected villages, Thomas has also analyzed how voters respond to campaign strategies. He has also analyzed how voter and politician behaviour differ under different electoral rules in Brazilian municipalities. Thomas plans to continue this line of research as a CIFAR Global Scholar, studying the political roots of public policy to contribute to our understanding of why inefficient policies persist in the developing world and how political institutions can be reformed to address these issues.
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
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