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Daniel Hidalgo receives 2014 Kellogg/Notre Dame Award for best paper in comparative politics

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F. Daniel Hidalgo
F. Daniel Hidalgo
Photo: Stuart Darsch

MIT assistant professor F. Daniel Hidalgo has won the 2014 Kellogg/Notre Dame Award for best paper in comparative politics — together with his co-author, Simeon Nichter of the University of California at San Diego.

Research on electoral reforms in the developing world

The Kellogg/Notre Dame Award recognizes outstanding research presented at the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference, one of the largest academic conferences held on political science each year. A scholarly association founded in 1939, the MPSA is the publisher of The American Journal of Political Science.

“I was delighted to hear about the award," Hidalgo said. "I had no idea that I was even nominated, so when I heard about the honor, it was a terrific surprise! Hopefully this award will provide a bit of attention for our work on electoral reforms in the developing world.”

Hidalgo and Nichter, an assistant professor of political science, were honored for “Voter Buying: Shaping the Electorate through Clientelism,” a paper that explores the role of patronage in shaping the electorate of Brazil.

New ideas and evidence about clientism

“Danny's paper received this award because it brings new ideas and evidence to bear on an issue of long-standing interest to political scientists — that is, 'clientism,' a system in which politicians provide benefits in exchange for votes,” said Melissa Nobles, the Arthur and Ruth Sloan professor of Political Science and head of the Department of Political Science at MIT. “Danny's paper persuasively argues that these parties seek not only to mobilize a given electorate but also to change its composition in order to win elections.”

Hidalgo joined the MIT faculty in 2012. His research focuses on the political economy of elections, campaigns, and representation in developing democracies, as well as on quantitative methods in the social sciences. He has extensive experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research in countries as diverse as Brazil, India, Mexico, Georgia, and India.

A past recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Fulbright program, Hidaldo holds a PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA from Princeton University.

Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand
Senior Writer: Kathryn O'Neill 
Photograph: Stuart Darsch, MIT Political Science 

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