Danilo Freire

Political Scientist · danilofreire@gmail.com

I am a political scientist and data analyst based in São Paulo, Brazil. I hold a PhD in Political Economy from King's College London, a Master's Degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva, and I am a former postdoctoral research associate in The Political Theory Project at Brown University

My research focuses on understanding how developing countries solve problems of collective action and political violence. I am particularly interested in public services provision, vertical and horizontal accountability, state violence, and private governance. Empirically, I have a regional focus on Latin America and leverage an array of methods and data, such as experiments and quasi-experiments, machine learning algorithms, online surveys, and administrative records. My research has been sponsored by Google, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Getulio Vargas Foundation, and the Brazilian Ministry of Education. I am also a member of EGAP. You may find more information about my recent projects below.

My CV is available here and I host my projects on GitHub. You can contact me via email at danilofreire@gmail.com.


If your browser does not support PDFs, please download my CV here.



Freire, D., Mignozzetti, U., Skarbek, D. Institutional Design and Elite Support for Climate Policies. First view, Journal of Experimental Political Science, 2020, 1-13. Replication files.

Freire, D., Galdino, M., Mignozzetti, U. Bottom-Up Accountability and Public Service Provision: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Brazil. Research & Politics, 2020, 1-8. Replication files.

McDonnell, R., Duarte, G., Freire, D. congressbr: An R Package for Analysing Data from Brazil's Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate. Latin American Research Review, 2019, 54(4), 958-969. Software repository.

Freire, D. Beasts of Prey or Rational Animals?: Private Governance in Brazil’s Jogo do Bicho. Latin American Perspectives. 2019, 46(4), 230-244. Media coverage: BBC Brazil.

Freire, D. Evaluating the Effect of Homicide Prevention Strategies in São Paulo, Brazil: A Synthetic Control Approach. Latin American Research Review, 2018, 53(2), 231-249. Replication files. Media coverage: Valor Econômico.

McDonnell, R., Freire, D. prisonbrief: An R Package that Returns Tidy Data from the World Prison Brief Website. Journal of Open Source Software, 2018, 3(22), 361. Software repository.

Arbache, G., Freire, D., Rodrigues, P. Lack of Preferences, Political Trust and Education Levels: Alternative Explanations for Invalid Votes in Brazilian Elections. Encuentro Latinoamericano, 2015, 1(1), 29–50. Replication files.

Freire, D. Between Ballot Boxes and Guns: The Competitiveness of the Executive Branch and Civil Wars, 1976-2000. Revista Española de Ciencia Política, 2014, 36, 33–60. Replication files.

Working Papers

Alptekin, H., Freire, D., Mignozzetti, U., Roman, C. The Effect of Legislature Size on Distributive Politics: A Meta-Analysis. Under review.

Freire, D., Uzonyi, G. What Drives State-Sponsored Violence? Evidence from Extreme Bounds Analysis and Ensemble Learning Methods.

Freire, D., Meadowcroft, J., Skarbek, D., Guerrero, E. Deaths and Disappearances in the Pinochet Regime: A New Dataset.

Cepaluni, G., Freire, D., Mignozzetti, U. Legislature Size and Welfare: Evidence from Brazil.

Freire, D., Mignozzetti, U. Incentives in Preventive Health Care Provision: Zika in Brazil.

Freire, D., Skarbek, D. Casting the First Stone: Attitudes Towards Lynchings in Brazil.

Freire, D., Gargiulo, M. Automated Forecasting of Armed Conflict Fatalities.

Skarbek, E., Freire, D., Skarbek, D. Urban Politics of Reconstruction: Development Patterns after the Chicago Fire of 1871.

Book Chapters

Skarbek, D., Freire, D. Prison Gangs. In: Griffin, Hayden; Woodward, Vanessa (ed.). Handbook of Corrections in the United States. London: Routledge, 2017, 399–408.

Freire, D. A Nova Gestão Pública e a Qualidade da Democracia [New Public Administration and the Quality of Democracy]. In: Erkens, Rainer (ed.). Nova Gestão Pública. São Paulo: Instituto Friedrich Naumann, 2010, 9–15.


    Freire, D., Mingardi, L., McDonnell, R. pinochet: Data about the victims of the Pinochet regime, 1973-1990.

    McDonnell, R., Freire, D., Duarte, G. congressbr: Downloads, unpacks and tidies Legislative data from the Brazilian Federal Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

    Freire, D., McDonnell, R. prisonbrief: R package that returns tidy data from the World Prison Brief website.


Courses Taught

All my course materials are available online:

POLS 1824W: Political Violence (Undergraduate). Instructor. Brown University, Fall 2019. Student evaluation: 4.8/5

POLS 1600: Political Research Methods (Undergraduate). Instructor. Brown University, Winter 2019. Student evaluation: 4.5/5.

Economia Política e Instituições (Political Economy and Institutions) (Graduate). Instructor. Centro de Estudios Superiores Online de Madrid Manuel Ayau (Madrid) and Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Ciudad de Guatemala), 2017. Student evaluation: 5/5.

Principles of Macroeconomics (Undergraduate). Seminar leader, King's College London, Fall 2017. Module convener: Konstantinos Matakos.

Principles of Microeconomics (Undergraduate). Seminar leader, King's College London, Winter 2017. Module convener: David Skarbek.

Suggested Courses

Machine Learning for Political Science (Graduate).

Latin American Politics (Undergraduate/Graduate).

Introduction to Comparative Political Economy (Undergraduate/Graduate).