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Desiree Desierto

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Desiree Desierto

Research Fellow
Handa Affiliation(s): 

Desiree A. Desierto specializes in the political economy of development. After obtaining an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham, she became Robert M. Solow Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cournot Centre in Economic Studies in France, Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge, and Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines. Desiree is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation, “The Great Development Tradeoff: Corruption vs. Public Goods”, argues that while government spending can decrease rent-seeking and corruption by appropriating revenues toward public good provision, it can also increase it since government contracts that supply the public goods may be awarded in exchange for bribes. In analyzing the conditions under which the latter effect outweighs the former, the dissertation shows why it is difficult for developing countries to outspend poverty without having institutions that curb opportunities for rent-seeking. 

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