Malu Gatto

Malu Gatto, Dr.



Curriculum vitae

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Chair of Policy Analysis. Before UZH, I completed my DPhil (PhD) at the Department of Politics and IR from the University of Oxford. I also hold an M.Sc. in Politics Research (2012) from Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, and a B.A. (2011) from Barnard College, Columbia University.

I am a comparativist and my work predominantly focuses on Latin America and explores questions about electoral reform, legislatures, politicians' strategies to retain office, political representation, and gender and politics.

My doctoral thesis, entitled “Endogenous Institutions and the Puzzle of Gender Quotas: Insights from Latin America,” asks: given their potential to negatively impact men’s goal of staying in office, can gender quotas be aligned with the preferences of male legislators who adopt the policy? In other words, does the rapid spread of gender quotas worldwide challenge notions of the rationality of legislators as career-driven individuals? I show that, when legislators face increasing pressures to adopt a gender quota, their options not to adopt the policy become limited; in this scenario, the risk- taking decision to adopt quotas may reduce male legislators’ future electoral costs. The thesis is currently being transformed into a book manuscript.

I am also currently pursuing a second major project, which investigates the effects of political dynasties in Brazil to the representation of politically marginalised groups.

I am teaching a seminar entitled “Gender quotas around the world: political dynamics and policy challenges”. I have previously taught courses on Latin American Politics, Comparative Government, Policy Evaluation, and Quantitative Research Methods.

You can access my work from my personal website (, and follow me on twitter @MaluGatto.