My research examines local decision making, governance, and administrative structures, particularly in Latin America.  I study specific areas such as fiscal, urban and economic development policies to better understand when governments attempt to use a particular option, their incentive, structures and best practices to ensure successful implementation. My research is both qualitative and quantitative by design and I have conducted field research in Argentina and Mexico.


Work in Progress
Municipal Debt
  • Strengthening the State's Regulatory Framework to control Mexico's Subnational Debt/El Control del Endeudamiento y la Debilidad Institucional de los Municipios Mexicanos (book manuscript)
  • Ley de Disciplina Financiera de las Entidades Federativas y Municipios y sus implicaciones después de las elecciones del 2018 (book chapter)
  • Comparative Path-dependent governance approach to Strengthen the Regulatory Framework of Subnational Debt in Mexico (article under review)
  • Increasing Decision Making Capacities of Local Governments: Mexico’s Quest For Economic Growth (article under review)  
Social Equity
  • Developing Social Equity Competencies: Strategies for Public Budgeting and Finance Curriculum with Blue Wooldridge (article under review)
  • Ethics and Social Equity for Public Officials / Cómo incorporar la ética en el funcionario público, chapter with Irving Rosales and Blue Wooldridge (under review)
  • The Quality of Public Service Education in Mexico:  An evaluation of Public Finance and Budgetary systems within public policy, administration programs in Mexico with Irving Rosales and Gabriel Puron (article under review)
  • The Paradox of Social Policy in Mexico at State Level: More Money, Less Action? with Anahely Medrano.

Published Working Papers 
  • Political Career or Party Reputational Concerns? Determining How Partisan Effects Matter for Subnational Fiscal Discipline, Evidence from Mexico, coauthored with Allyson Benton (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, CIDE, Documento de Trabajo 252), Julio 2013.
  • Private vs. Public Debt: Explaining Municipal Borrowing Patterns of Mexican Cities. (2012) Social Science Research Network, Available at SSRN:     
  • Effective Public Service Delivery in Latin America: Can it Be Done at the Local Level? (2011) Social Science Research Network, Available at SSRN:
  • Fiscal Decentralization: Explaining Successful Local Economic Development in Latin America, (2011) Social Science Research Network, Available at SSRN:    
Book Chapters
  • “City Networks and Para-Diplomacy creating new Global Public Policy” chapter in Local Government, Global Cities and Transnational Administration edited by Diane Stone and Kim Moloney, Oxford Press 2018.
  • Cómo incorporar la ética en el funcionario público: Criterios para mejor enseñanza de Finanzas Publicas en México, by Irving Rosales, Heidi Smith and Blue Wooldridge capítulo en el Libro del Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública (INAP) Ciudad de México 2018.
  • Why Opinions Matter for Financing Local Economic Development in Latin America: An Analytic Survey on Incentives, El municipio ante la crisis del federalismo mexicano, publicado por la Red de Investigadores en Gobiernos Locales Mexicanos A.C, Diciembre 2017 (ISBN 978-0-9970858-7-7).
Consulting and Research Reports         
  • Political and Fiscal Challenges of Decentralization Policies: Forum Report and Proceedings. Mexico City and Washington D.C., Inter-American Development Bank. May 2013.  
  • Public options for financing Sustainable Infrastructure: Cases from Asia and Latin America, World Bank, July 2013       
  • Evaluación del Fortalecimiento de los Sistemas Nacionales de Control Externo a través del Desarrollo de las Capacidades de las Entidades de Fiscalización Superior, Inter-American Development Bank. Sept. 2013.       
  • Financing Green Urban Infrastructure, OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2012/10,Merk, O., Saussier, S., Staropoli, C., Slack, E., Kim, J-H, OECD Publishing (contributor).         
  • BuildingBridges, Creating Value, The State of Florida Project on Good Governance and Democracy in the Hemisphere, Final Report, July 2007 - October 2008, co-author with Dr. Allan Rosenbaum. IPMCS/Miami.       
  • Effective Local Governance: Innovative Approaches to Improving Municipal Management. Final Workshop Report, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Compilers Anne Marie Blackman and Heidi Smith. UPD/OAS 2001.        

Updated 10/2017

Making Bonds Work

Are governments always O ver-Indebtedness and Fiscally Irresponsible? Governmental debt and financial sustainability are pressing i...