Working Papers

This is a list of selected works in progress. If you are interested in reading any of these working papers, please, send me an e-mail and I will be happy to share.

Invited to Revise & Resubmit

Bureaucrats as Legislators: The Conditional Roots of Workplace Descriptive Representation
João V. Guedes-Neto
(Invited to R&R by Representation)

The failure of political parties to adequately voice the preferences of their constituents leads voters to look for alternative heuristics when selecting their favorite candidates. Descriptive representation is one of them. Yet, most scholars focus only on the social characteristics of representatives. Is it also possible to talk about a workplace descriptive representation? In this paper, I rely on a longitudinal survey conducted with 2,527 legislators from 18 Latin American countries to assess whether the preferences of those representatives with a background in the public service differ from those held by other congressmen. The results show that former public employees adequately represent their professional group only when they self-place in the left or highly identify with the civil service. Yet, when they do not, their preference for the maximization of the state’s budget and power is even lower than that of rightist legislators who have never worked for government.

Staying, Moving, and Quitting: Bureaucratic Response to Partisan Favoritism in U.S. Federal Agencies
João V. Guedes-Neto
(Invited to R&R by American Politics research)

Why do bureaucrats decide to move or quit? From 2010 to 2019, 18% of the almost four million respondents of surveys conducted with US federal bureaucrats expressed the intention of moving to another agency and 4% were thinking of leaving the government. These numbers suggest that Brehm and Gates’ (1999) triad working, shirking, and sabotage could be expanded. This paper proposes that, when dissatisfied, bureaucrats also move and quit. Based on generalized multilevel mixed-effects regressions, it demonstrates that the perception of partisan favoritism in one’s agency is a core determinant of exit. That is, when bureaucrats perceive their agencies to be controlled by party interests, they start considering leaving it for either another federal organization or a job outside the government. These findings contribute to the study of the politics of the bureaucracy, executive politics, and the influences of partisanship.

In Progress or Under Review

The Cost of Being Foreign: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Experiment in the US*
Pedro Makhoul, João V. Guedes-Neto, and Aldo Musacchio
*Academy of Management 2021:
— HKUST Best Paper in Global Strategy
— Douglas Nigh Award (International Management Division)

We conduct a conjoint experiment with a nationally representative sample of 3,010 US residents to assess their opinions on the acquisition of domestic companies by foreign firms. On average, US residents are 16 percentage points less likely to support a foreign firm as the preferred acquirer to an American company, compared to an identical domestic firm. We also show that there is a tension between nationalistic preferences and economic incentives. Still, it is quite hard for foreign firms to overcome their disadvantage by offering more favorable deal conditions. Additionally, we demonstrate that liability of foreignness (LOF) is considerably more complex than previously theorized by showing that LOF is not only a firm-level phenomenon, but also runs at the ownership level. Finally, we argue that both practitioners and strategy and IB scholars should pay more attention to the effects of public opinion, as understanding how the local population feel about foreign acquisitions can be quite important to managers when planning their international expansions and when entering negotiations to acquire a foreign company.

Resisting Political Control: The Public Bureaucracy in an Era of Populist Politics
João V. Guedes-Neto and B. Guy Peters

In normal times, civil servants tend to behave like good Weberian bureaucrats, who comply with the expectations of their principals.  Yet, does this expectation hold in an era of populist politics?  During the week of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, we conducted a set of survey experiments with a sample of 420 bureaucrats to causally identify their willingness to shirk or sabotage the government if assigned with the implementation of an undemocratic policy.  Our list and vignette experiments show that roughly 60% of the respondents are willing to resist, especially if they work at the federal level and do not have a supervisory position.  Most respondents affirm to be inelastic to peer pressures, confirming that they seek to preserve their democratic values above the wishes of their colleagues and elected officials.  These findings suggest that the civil service is a point of resistance in processes of democratic backsliding.

“And some, I assume, are good people”: Contextual Determinants of Elite Rhetoric towards Immigrants and Refugees
João V. Guedes-Neto and Alex Honeker

What are the conditional determinants of elite rhetoric towards immigrants and refugees? Relying on a sentiment analysis of tweets of members of the US House of Representatives during the 2020 presidential election campaign, we test how different theories of inter-group relations moderate the already known effects of partisanship. While the salience and valence of migration as a political topic divide Republicans and Democrats, we find that geographical location and a district’s ethnic homogeneity appear to not affect party unity. Yet, in accordance with Realistic Conflict Theory, unemployment rate moderates Republicans’ (but not Democrats’) rhetoric towards immigrants, making members of both parties converge in districts with high availability of jobs. The moderating effect of unemployment, however, is not present when legislators talk about refugees, with parties converging on tone but diverging on the groups labeled as “refugees.”