Magdalena Larreboure

Magdalena Larreboure

Ph.D Candidate in Public Policy

Harvard University

I am a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at Harvard University, following the Politics and Institutions track.

I am interested in political economy, with a focus on climate politics and policy. Within my research, I explore the impact of collective action and social movements in influencing electoral decisions, the significance of natural disasters as catalysts for policy change, and the framing of energy bills to gain legislators’ support.

Prior to starting the PhD I worked for three years as a senior research specialist for  Johannes Haushofer and co-authors, while based at the Busara Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Before that, I completed a Master’s degree in Economics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics at the same institution.


  • Political Economy
  • Environmental Politics


  • PhD in Public Policy, 2027

    Harvard University

  • MA in Economics, 2019

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

  • BA in Business and Economics, 2017

    Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile


Falling Living Standards during the COVID-19 Crisis: Quantitative Evidence from Nine Developing Countries

Despite numerous journalistic accounts, systematic quantitative evidence on economic conditions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remains scarce for most low- and middle-income countries, partly due to limitations of official economic statistics in environments with large informal sectors and subsistence agriculture. We assemble evidence from over 30,000 respondents in 16 original household surveys from nine countries in Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone), Asia …

Working papers

Cash Transfers and Social Preferences of Children

We study the effects of an unconditional cash transfer program on social preferences of children. The program allocated $1,076 to randomly selected households in rural Kenya. We measure the social preferences of 4,022 children from 1,687 households with survey questions and incentivized behavioral games three years after the intervention. We distinguish between the direct effects on children of recipient households and the spillover effects on children of neighboring households. We do not find …

The Impact of the Women's March on the U.S. House Election

Three million people participated in the Women’s March against discrimination in January 2017, the largest single-day protest in the history of the United States. The inaugural event sparked a grassroots political movement with the goal of increasing the representation of women and other marginalized groups in the political sphere. We show that protesters in the 2017 march increased political preferences for women and people from ethnic minorities in the 2018 House of Representatives Election. …

Other projects

Costs and motivations to vote: Chilean plebiscite abroad

Voting abroad requires a huge amount of effort and commitment for some citizens, and during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, these costs are probably even higher. What are the main factors that influence the decision of voting, when the costs of doing so are high? How did the pandemic affect turnout in the election?

Kenya COVID-19 Economic Tracker - The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Kenya creating an even more urgent need for timely data and evidence to help monitoring and mitigating the impact of the crisis. We are generating descriptive statistics on COVID-19, behavioral adaptations, and local economic activity. We are collecting information at the household, formal firm and microenterprise level on a wide range of indicators: impact on employment, access to services, travel and recent contacts, knowledge of COVID-19 mitigation measures, mental well-being and food security.


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