F. Daniel Hidalgo

F. Daniel Hidalgo

Associate Professor of Political Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I’m an Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT. My research seeks to improve our understanding of how democracies in low and middle income societies work. My work has focused the role of horizontal and electoral accountability in promoting good governance, money in politics, and the ways political institutions shape electoral outcomes. Most of my work has drawn on data from Latin America, especially Brazil.

At MIT, I teach courses on statistics for the social sciences, elections and representation in the developing world, and Latin American politics. In addition, I am Academic Director of GOV/LAB, a research unit that brings together researchers interested in poltical behavior and government accountability. Outside of MIT, I serve on the steering committee for the Elections, Representation, & Participation Working Group for the Evidence in Governance and Politics Network ( EGAP).


  • Elections, Representation, and Political Accountability
  • Latin American Politics
  • Political Methodology


  • PhD in Political Science, 2012

    University of California at Berkeley

  • BA in Politics, 2002

    Princeton University

Recent Research

Competence versus Priorities: Negative Electoral Responses to Education Quality in Brazil

Do voters reward politicians for the quality of public services? We address this question by studying voters’ responses to signals of …

Voter information campaigns and political accountability: Cumulative findings from a preregistered meta-analysis of coordinated trials

Voters may be unable to hold politicians to account if they lack basic information about their representatives’ performance. Civil …

Electoral incentives to combat mosquito-borne illnesses: Experimental evidence from Brazil

Mosquito-borne illnesses present significant health challenges to the developing world. If citizens are informed about their …

Norms versus Action: Why Voters Fail to Sanction Malfeasance in Brazil

We show that Brazilian voters strongly sanction malfeasant mayors when presented with hypothetical scenarios but take no action when …

Recent Posts

Useful R Packages for Causal Inference in the Social Sciences

The table below lists R packages that I have found useful for causal inference in the social sciences, particularly political science. I regularly teach Causal Inference as part of the methods sequence at MIT Political Science, so this post mainly serves a convenient place to send students when teaching that course.

Boostrap-Based Multiple Testing Adjustments: New R Package

A recent trend in quantitative political science is the increasing attention to the multiple testing problem in hypothesis testing. As we examine more and more dependent variables or subgroups in a given study, the potential for falsely rejecting at least one null hypothtesis due to chance increases.

Drought and Death in Northeast Brazil

As an outside observer of Brazil, it’s hard to be optimistic. Who can pick just one reason? The country is struggling to emerge from a historically severe economic crisis. The president is historically unpopular, credibly accused of corruption, and lacks democratic legitimacy.


  • 17.801 Quantitative Research Methods I: Regression ( Fall 2019).
  • 17.802 Quantitative Research Methods II: Causal Inference ( Spring 2020).
  • 17.S592 Elections and Representation in Developing Democracies ( Spring 2017).
  • 17.830 Empirical Methods in Political Economy ( Fall 2015).
  • 17.831 Data and Politics ( Spring 2020).