Paul Lagunes obtained his PhD in Political Science from Yale University, and is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. His research on the political economy of development examines the issue of corruption, especially as it affects subnational governments in the Americas.

Two questions motivate Lagunes’s scholarship. First, how does corruption actually work in practice? And second, what tools are available for limiting corruption’s harmful effects? Mainly through the execution of randomized control trials in diverse contexts, such as Peru and Mexico, Lagunes offers insights on corruption’s regressive impact on society, the factors maintaining a corrupt status quo, and the conditions under which anti-corruption monitoring is most effective.

He has published in PLoS ONE, Latin American Research Review, Political Psychology, Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Politics & Policy, and Journal of Social Issues, among other outlets. Lagunes is also the co-editor with Susan Rose-Ackerman of Greed, Corruption, and the Modern State: Essays in Political Economy.

During the 2016–2017 academic year, Lagunes served as a Visiting Scholar at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. His research has also been supported by the International Growth Center, the Institute for Social and Policy Studies, the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and funding sources based at Columbia University.
He serves as a voting member of Evidence in Governance and Politics, the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, and the Museum of Political Corruption. He also teaches three master’s-level courses: Local and Global Corruption: Maneuvering Toward Good Governance; Comparative Urban Policy: Cities Beyond the Western Core; and Methods in Development Practice.

To follow Paul Lagunes on Twitter go to: @paullagunes

Paul Lagunes


Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs

Professional Title

Assistant Professor


  • Americas




A native of Mexico, Paul Lagunes specializes in corruption control.

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