Dr. Pablo Balan

Political science studies
בית הספר למדע המדינה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Pablo Balan
Office: Naftali - Social Sciences, 530

Research Summary

I am a political economist studying developing countries, with a substantive focus on state capacity and social networks, a methodological focus on field experiments, and a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.


I study how informal institutions affect the prospects and implementation of programmatic reform. A first stream of my research studies the foundations of state-building in low-capacity settings using field-experimental methods. Drawing on fieldwork in a large city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these projects document how participation in informal institutions shapes the adoption of land property rights and how local elites can collaborate with governments to boost essential state functions. A second set of projects examines the political effects of family networks in various contexts, from promoting electoral accountability to facilitating political action within firms.


My work has been published in the American Political Science Review, the American Economic Review, and World Development.


PhD in Government, Harvard University, 2021

Research Interests

Informal Institutions, Property Rights, State Capacity, Developing Countries, Business Politics, Kinship

Selected Publications

Balan, P., A. Bergeron, G. Tourek, and J. Weigel (2022). Local Elites as State Capacity: How City Chiefs Use Local Information to Increase Tax Compliance in the D.R. Congo. American Economic Review 112(3): 762-7 


Balan, P., J. Dodyk, and I. Puente (2022). The Political Behavior of Family Firms: Evidence from Brazil. World Development 151


Arias, E., P. Balan, H. Larreguy, J. Marshall, and P. Querubin (2019). Information Provision, Voter Coordination, and Electoral Accountability: Evidence from Mexican Social Networks. American Political Science Review 113(2): 475-498


For a full list of publications visit www.pablobalan.com





Recent Awards

Alon Fellowship for Outstanding Researchers, Israeli Council for Higher Education


Honorable Mention, Ronald Coase Dissertation Award, Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics




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