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portrait of Dr Allyson Benton

Dr Allyson Benton

Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of International Politics

Contact Information


Visit Allyson Benton

D512, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr. Benton is a Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy in the Department of International Politics at City, University of London. She is also currently serving as Deputy Head of Department. A native of Southern California, she received a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining City, Dr. Benton was a member of the Department of Political Studies at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City. She has also been a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of São Paulo, Brazil and a visiting scholar in the Institute of Latin American Studies at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, Germany.


  1. PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  2. MA, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
  3. BA, University of California, Berkeley, United States


  1. Full Professor, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Aug 2001 – Sep 2019


English (can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review), Portuguese (can read and peer review) and Spanish - Latin American (can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review).


Geographic Areas

  • Americas - Central
  • Americas - Latin
  • Americas - North
  • Americas - South


Research in International Political Economy

Dr. Benton's international political economy research examines the impact of economic policy statements on financial markets. In a forthcoming article, “Does @theRealDonaldTrump Really Affect Financial Markets?” (American Journal of Political Science), Dr. Benton and her coauthor Dr. Andrew Philips (University of Colorado, Boulder) examine the impact of economic policy statements made by US President Donald J. Trump (via the microblogging site Twitter) on financial markets. Research on politics and financial markets suggests that Trump’s economic policy “tweets” should not matter to markets, because each merely restates his well-known policy views. In contrast, Dr. Benton and Dr. Philips argue that Trump's policy tweets should affect financial markets because they clarify his level of commitment to his economic policy goals. They test this argument using data on Trump's Mexico-related policy tweets and the US dollar/Mexican peso exchange rate. They find that Trump's Mexico-related tweets raised US dollar/Mexican peso exchange rate volatility both when his views were first becoming known, as well as thereafter, in line with our expectations. This research contributes to our understanding about the influence of social media on financial markets.

Research in Comparative Political Economy

Dr. Benton's comparative political economy research examines political budget cycles, especially how political ambition affects subnational fiscal policy choice. She examines the logic behind what I call “subnational partisan fiscal policy interdependence.” Dr. Benton argues that political ambition drives copartisan subnational leaders to compete with one another to appeal to higher-level party leaders’ fiscal policy preferences, in their pursuit of building successful political careers. Political careerism thus produces complex partisan networks of policy interdependence across space and time. In a first paper (Journal of Politics 2019), Dr. Benton explains how political ambition drives vertical partisan fiscal policy interdependence. In a second paper (being prepared for submission), she explains how political ambition also drives horizontal partisan fiscal policy interdependence. In a related project, Dr. Benton and Lorena Barberia (University of São Paulo, Brazil) examine the impact of incumbency on subnational fiscal spending. This research contributes to knowledge about how partisanship affects subnational political budget cycles.

Research in Comparative Local Governance

In addition to examining topics in political economy, Dr. Benton has also conducted research on subnational authoritarian rule. Inspired by her long time living and traveling in Mexico, Dr. Benton has examined how participatory political institutions contribute to local governance. Her research in Mexico shows that participatory institutions have been used by subnational authoritarian leaders to boost their political control, producing what I call “authoritarian participatory governance.” The best-known case in Mexico is the state of Oaxaca, whose government assigned participatory institutions to many of its 570 municipalities in 1995, before the transition to national democracy (2000). Dr. Benton shows that these institutions were assigned by state autocrats to municipalities whose mayors could be trusted to work for the state-level regime (Democratization 2017), and that these mayors used these institutions to manage electoral participation and generate winning margins (Comparative Politics 2012; Journal of Politics in Latin America 2016). This allowed Oaxaca’s subnational authoritarian rulers to survive in power even national democratization. This research contributes to our understanding about how participatory institutions are used in non-democratic settings.

Expertise in Latin America

Dr. Benton has deep regional expertise in Latin American political economy and politics. This regional expertise is the result of 18 years living and working in Mexico City, Mexico (2001-19), as well as numerous trips to and extended stays in other countries in the region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela). Most recently, Dr. Benton spent her sabbatical year in São Paulo, Brazil (2018-19). Her regional expertise is enhanced by experience working as a political risk analyst in New York and Mexico City, where she assessed Latin American political and policy risk for financial institutions, multinational corporations, oil majors, credit ratings agencies, and governments.

Research Students

Evangelia Tomara

Attendance: Sep 2019 – present, full-time

Thesis title: Rebranding Politics in Times of Crisis: Greece in Comparative Persepctive

Role: 1st Supervisor

Juan Jesús Rodríguez Rodríguez

Attendance: Jul 2019, full-time

Thesis title: Subnational Party System Fragmentation: The Effective Number of Parties in Mexican Municipalities, 1993-2017

Role: 1st Supervisor

Further information: Co-Chair, Rodrigo Salazar Elena (Flacso), PhD in Political Science, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (Flacso), Mexico City.

José Stalin Muñoz Ayora

Attendance: Aug 2018, full-time

Thesis title: Political Threats and Remittances

Role: 1st Supervisor

Further information: MA in Political Science, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico City.

Edwin Atilano Robles

Thesis title: The Politics of Authoritarian Income Redistribution

Role: 1st Supervisor

Further information: PhD in Political Science, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico City.

Giovanna Rodríguez Garcia

Thesis title: Corruption in Legislatures: The Effect of Party Nationalization

Role: 1st Supervisor

Further information: PhD in Political Science, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico City.

Tabitha Poulter

Thesis title: The Role of Humanitarian Aid in the Intensity of Civil Conflict, 1946-2003

Role: 1st Supervisor



  1. Benton, A.L. (2015). Reconsidering electoral contestation through voter mobilisation. Conceptualising Comparative Politics (pp. 126–149). ISBN 978-1-138-78290-7.

Journal articles (23)

  1. Benton, A.L. and Philips, A.Q. (2020). Does the @realDonaldTrump Really Matter to Financial Markets? American Journal of Political Science, 64(1), pp. 169–190. doi:10.1111/ajps.12491.
  2. Benton, A.L. (2019). Party Leader or Party Reputation Concerns? How Vertical Partisan Alignment Reins in Subnational Fiscal Profligacy. The Journal of Politics, 81(1), pp. 201–214. doi:10.1086/700201.
  3. Robles, E.A. and Benton, A.L. (2018). Mexico 2017: Incumbent disadvantage ahead of 2018. Revista de Ciencia Politica, 38(2), pp. 303–333. doi:10.4067/s0718-090x2018000200303.
  4. Benton, A.L. (2017). Violent Crime and Capital Market Punishment: How Violent Crime Affects the Supply of Debt to Municipal Mexico. Studies in Comparative International Development, 52(4), pp. 483–509. doi:10.1007/s12116-017-9256-8.
  5. Benton, A.L. and Smith, H.J.M. (2017). The Impact of Parties and Elections on Municipal Debt Policy in Mexico. Governance, 30(4), pp. 621–639. doi:10.1111/gove.12234.
  6. Smith, H.J.M. and Benton, A.L. (2017). The Role of Metropolitan Cooperation and Administrative Capacity in Subnational Debt Dynamics: Evidence From Municipal Mexico. Public Budgeting and Finance, 37(2), pp. 58–82. doi:10.1111/pbaf.12155.
  7. Benton, A.L. (2017). Configuring authority over electoral manipulation in electoral authoritarian regimes: evidence from Mexico. Democratization, 24(3), pp. 521–543. doi:10.1080/13510347.2016.1236789.
  8. Benton, A.L. (2016). How "participatory governance" strengthens authoritarian regimes: Evidence from electoral authoritarian Oaxaca, Mexico. Journal of Politics in Latin America, 8(2), pp. 37–70. doi:10.1177/1866802x1600800202.
  9. Benton, A.L. (2013). Partisan policy promises and sector-specific stock-market performance: Evidence from Mexico's 2006 presidential campaign. Business and Politics, 15(2), pp. 187–215. doi:10.1515/bap-2012-0037.
  10. Benton, A.L. (2012). Bottom-up challenges to national democracy: Mexico's (legal) subnational authoritarian enclaves. Comparative Politics, 44(3), pp. 253–271. doi:10.5129/001041512800078931.
  11. Benton, A. (2011). The Catholic Church, Political Institutions, and Electoral Outcomes in Oaxaca, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, LVI(213), pp. 125–125.
  12. Benton, A.L. (2009). The effect of electoral rules on indigenous voting behavior in Mexico's state of Oaxaca. Politica y Gobierno, 16(1), pp. 37–69.
  13. Benton, A.L. (2009). What makes strong federalism seem weak fiscal resources and presidential-provincial relations in Argentina. Publius, 39(4), pp. 651–676. doi:10.1093/publius/pjn032.
  14. Benton, A. and Langston, J. (2009). On the Ground: Candidate Appearances and Events during the 2006 Mexican Presidential Campaign. Politica y Gobierno, 15 Aniversario, Volumen Temática(Elecciones en México), pp. 135–135.
  15. Lucinda Benton, A. (2009). Parties and political campaigns in Mexico. POLITICA Y GOBIERNO pp. 5–14.
  16. Langston, J. and Lucinda Benton, A. (2009). "A ras de suelo": Candidate Appearances and Events in Mexico Presidential Campaign. POLITICA Y GOBIERNO pp. 135–176.
  17. Benton, A.L. (2008). Do investors assess the credibility of campaign commitments? The case of Mexico's 2006 presidential race. Political Research Quarterly, 61(3), pp. 403–418. doi:10.1177/1065912908314199.
  18. Benton, A.L. (2007). The strategic struggle for patronage: Political careers, state largesse, and factionalism in Latin American parties. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 19(1), pp. 55–82. doi:10.1177/0951629807071019.
  19. Benton, A. (2006). Who’s Afraid of López Obrador? Market Responses to Election Polling Trends during the 2006 Mexican Presidential Campaign. Colombia Internacional, 64(July-December), pp. 68–68.
  20. Benton, A.L. (2006). Mexico's (temporary) turn to the left. Current History, 105(688), pp. 69–73.
  21. Benton, A.L. (2005). Dissatisfied democrats or retrospective voters? Economic hardship, political institutions, and voting behavior in Latin America. Comparative Political Studies, 38(4), pp. 417–442. doi:10.1177/0010414004273856.
  22. Benton, A.L. (2003). Strong Presidents, Powerful Provinces: The Case of Argentina. Politica y Gobierno, X(1), pp. 103–137.
  23. Benton, A.L. (2003). Strong presidents, powerful provinces: The political-economy of party building in Argentina's federal system. POLITICA Y GOBIERNO, 10(1), p. 103.