Isabella Caro Montini

Ayacucho Fellow
2021 - 2022

Advisor: Beatriz Magaloni

Class of 2022

Isabella was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After graduating from a German school, she moved to Berlin with a full-scholarship to pursue her BA in Political Science and Sociology at the Humboldt-University Berlin. Isabella recently earned her B.A. on a thesis called “Electoral Rules and Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Local Governments in Brazil”. Based on a unique policy introduced in Brazil, assigning municipalities to either single- or two-round electoral systems according to a registered voters threshold, Isabella used a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of electoral rules on the distribution of the Program Bolsa Família in the Brazilian municipalities.

During her undergraduate studies, Isabella worked as a research assistant at the Chair of Comparative Political Behavior and had the opportunity to offer two undergraduate seminars as a teaching assistant, the second one being entitled “Feminism and Intersectionality: Latin American Approaches”. 

Isabella was awarded the Ayacucho Fellowship and, at her time at Stanford, will specialize in political economy. She plans to continue her study on redistributive politics in Latin America, focusing on poverty alleviation practices, such as conditional cash transfers programs. In addition to that, Isabella also wants to conduct research on police violence and government-perpetrated brutality in the Brazilian favelas, examining to what extent people who were exposed to police brutality are more likely to mistrust state actors. She wants to investigate racial bias in police activity and the causal relationship between exposure to violence and lack of trust towards law enforcement and how this is endorsed by the militias. Most of Isabella’s work has been using quantitative methodology and, more specifically, causal inference. Upon graduation, Isabella wants to pursue a PhD in political science and, ultimately, become a Professor.