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Tesalia Rizzo

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Tesalia Rizzo is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Merced. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT and was previously a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies in the University of California, San Diego and a post-doctoral fellow at CDDRL in Stanford University. Prof. Rizzo’s book project, titled “Intermediaries of the State: The Bureaucratic Transaction Costs of Claiming Welfare in Mexico,” explores how bureaucratic transaction costs prevent individuals from directly claiming welfare benefits. Instead, these costs make citizens dependent on clientelist brokers and intermediaries who often demand political favors in return for access. More generally, Prof. Rizzo’s research agenda explores the determinants of both the demand and supply side of political mediation in the context of elections, bureaucracies and everyday politics in Latin America. Tesalia has also fielded several surveys, implemented a large scale randomized control trial and conducted extensive fieldwork across Mexico (including in her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico).