Laurence Anthony Go

Laurence Anthony Go
  • Applied Economics Doctoral Student

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3733 Spruce Street, 300 Vance Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302

Research Interests: Development, Political Economy, Labor, Organizations


Laurence Go is an Applied Economics PhD candidate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Laurence’s research interests center on economic development and lie in the intersection of political economy, labor and organizational economics. His current research agenda focuses on political dynasties and explores how dynastic structure impacts economic and political outcomes.

Prior to joining Wharton, Laurence completed his graduate studies at the London School of Economics and his undergraduate studies at the University of the Philippines. He also served as a consultant at the World Bank, and worked as an economist in a Manila-based policy think tank.

Laurence will be on the 2019-2020 job market and will be available for interviews at the 2019 EEA Meeting in Rotterdam and 2020 ASSA Annual Meeting in San Diego.

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  • Laurence Anthony Go (Work In Progress), Minimum Wage Determination: Evidence from Regional Wage Boards in the Philippines.

  • Laurence Anthony Go (Work In Progress), Economic Nationalism, Firm Growth and Industrial Development: Evidence from Naturalization Laws.

  • Laurence Anthony Go and Dean Dulay (Draft), When Running for Office Runs in the Family: Political Dynasties, Preferences and Local Government Spending in the Philippines.

    Abstract: Political dynasties exist in practically every variant of democracy. Yet, the literature has not theorized about how particular forms and functions of political dynasties benefit their members. We argue that horizontal dynasties—multiple members from a family holding political office concurrently—leads to higher levels of local government spending. Horizontal dynasties increase local government spending by replacing potential political opponents who may oppose spending with members of the family. Members from the same family have aligned preferences, and these preferences reduce conflict and increase coordination across offices, allowing politicians to pursue their political goals. We test this argument's implications in the Philippine context. Employing a regression discontinuity design on a sample of mayors, we show that (i) horizontally dynastic mayors have higher levels of local government spending and (ii) increasing local government spending is driven by preference alignment, which leads to less conflict and greater coordination between politicians.

  • Laurence Anthony Go and Dean Dulay (Draft), Family Comes First: Political Dynasties, Rank Effect and Political Succession.

    Abstract: What explains the persistence of political dynasties over time? We argue that dynasties remain in power through strategic succession of family members. We test this empirically by exploiting a setting where rank effects are observed, i.e. where candidates who barely rank higher in elections are significantly more likely to run for higher office. Using a regression discontinuity design on close elections in the Philippines, we establish the first place effect: first placers are 5-9% more likely to seek election to higher office than comparable second placers. We then document a novel phenomenon called the family first effect: first place effects are overturned when family linkages between politicians exist. Succession norms, where dynasties assign their family members to different positions of power, across different periods in time, are consistent with these results. Party alignment, voter coordination and information transmission are unlikely to explain our findings.


Past Courses


    This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compare with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determine what is beswt for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.


    Public goods, externalities, uncertainty, and income redistribution as sources of market failures; private market and collective choice models as possible correcting mechanisms. Microeconomic theories of taxation and public sector expenditures. The administration and organization of the public sector.

Awards and Honors

Institute for Humane Studies Humane Studies Fellowship, 2018

Institute for Humane Studies Hayek Fund Scholarship, 2018

Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Grant, 2017

Institute for Humane Studies PhD Scholarship, 2017

Wharton Doctoral Travel Grant, 2017

GAPSA Travel Grant, 2016

Mack Institute for Innovation Management Research Fellowship, 2015, 2017-18

Wharton Social Impact Initiative Research Grant, 2015

Wharton Doctoral Education Fellowship, 2014-2019


    Latest Research

    Laurence Anthony Go (Work In Progress), Minimum Wage Determination: Evidence from Regional Wage Boards in the Philippines.
    All Research