Cesar Zucco Jr. received his PhD in Political Science at UCLA. He is broadly interested in Latin America and the region's politics. His core research is on executive-legislative relations in multiparty polities, but he is also interested in electoral politics, the meaning and measurement of ideology, the interaction of economics and politics, and the politics of poverty.
Cesar’s dissertation examines how Latin American presidents use their ample control over state resources to obtain political support in multiparty legislatures, and shows the effects of both ideology and the exchange of pork and patronage for support in presidential coalition building. In order to do this, he estimates ideology from sources other than roll-call votes and shows that legislative roll call analysis does not reveal the standard left-right ideological structure, but rather a government vs. opposition cleavage that is induced by the president's handouts to parties and individual politicians. The dissertation includes a model of optimal presidential coalition building strategy that shows how presidents will distribute resources to parties and individual legislators, depending on the size and ideological positions of the parties in the particular political system. Several empirical tests show that the model captures an important element of the reality of presidential coalition building in multiparty political systems, namely that in countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, and Uruguay, presidents shape the way legislators behave through the exchange of resources for votes.