Alex joined Christ's as a post-doctoral Research Fellow and College Lecturer in Economics in September 2021. He first arrived in Cambridge in 2016 to pursue his Master’s degree after having completed his undergraduate in Amsterdam. The following year, he started his PhD, sponsored by the Gates Cambridge Trust.
Broadly speaking, his research lies at the intersection of political and development economics. Recently, his research has been focused on two themes which he hopes to continue exploring at Christs’s. He is interested in how institutions affect both the effects of governmental policies, as well as the incentives politicians have to carry them out. For instance, in one of his papers, he inquires as to how the electoral concerns of local mayors dictate their responses to austere central policies, which ultimately impact local development. He is also interested in the recent exacerbation of political polarization and nationalistic tendencies and, more specifically, how different policies as well as social elements such as people learning from each other can play a role in explaining spatial and temporal variations in polarization. As an empiricist, his main goal has been to find ways to analyze observational data in order to distinguish causality from simple correlations, a challenging process in economics, but extremely rewarding once you get it right.
Alex greatly enjoys teaching and has done so for a long time – back in middle school, he fondly remembers borrowing a whiteboard to teach the math he had just learned to the rest of his family – which is why he has worked as a Teaching Fellow at the Faculty these past four years.