Vanessa Cheng-Matsuno

Vanessa Cheng-Matsuno

PhD Candidate

Department of Government

Connect with me

English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Political economy, Political behaviour, Quantitative methods, Data science

About me

My research focuses on quantitative political economy and political behaviour using experiments and causal inference methods, and I will be on the academic job market in 2023.

I am also a Teaching Fellow at the School of Public Policy at LSE for the 2022/2023 academic year.

I completed a Master in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University and a Bachelor in Economics from Universidad del Pacífico. I have also worked as a researcher for The World Bank, J-PAL Latin America and as a civil servant in Peru.

Research interests: Quantitative political economy | Political behaviour | Experiments | Causal inference

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Political Instability: Does it Disrupt the Bureaucracy?

My doctoral dissertation examines the effects of critical political events on state capacity and on changes in citizens’ perceptions, examined in three academic papers. 

Job market paper

Impeachments, Partisan Alignment, and the Local Bureaucracy. Evidence from Peru

Do political crises at the national level alter or shift decision-making in the local bureaucracy? The paper studies the relation between national political crisis and how they affect the budgetary decision-making of local administrations who are aligned or unaligned with the national government in peril. I answer this question leveraging the Peruvian political crises between 2018 and 2020 using a rich, monthly dataset on district municipalities’ spending and a difference-in-differences design, which uses the constitutional fact that election cycles of local mayors are independent of national election cycles. I find that municipalities, where mayors share the same party affiliation as the President, spend 10% more during political crisis, especially on discretionary budget lines. Resources are shifted towards less efficient provision of public goods. This finding would suggest that, even in contexts with weak parties, there are important cross-level political dynamics that can lead to inefficient spending decisions.

Teaching record

Teaching Fellow, School of Public Policy 2022-2023:
- PP403 Public Management

Head Class Teacher:
- MN2196 Data Analysis for Management Decision Making – 2022

- GV482 Political Science and Political Economy: Current Issues – 2021
- GV481 Quantitative Methods for Political Science – 2020