Assistant Professor of Economics, Princeton University
Thomas Fujiwara’s 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. For example, he 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. He has also studied voter behaviour more broadly, including the role of strategic coordination by voters in elections, the role of habit in voter turnout, and how voters respond to campaign messages in field experiments in Benin and the Philippines. His more recent research studies how social norms interact with other economic incentives, with applications to legislative bargaining and women’s labor market investments.
Recent work by Thomas Fujiwara
The Brazilian experience shows that removing obstacles to political participation can have sizeable effects on public policy and development outcomes