1. What was your role during your internship?
I had the opportunity to work at the Institute for Applied
Economic Research (Instituto de Pesquisa Aplicada - IPEA), a
prestigious public research center that provides technical and
institutional support to government actions – enabling the
formulation and reformulation of public policies and Brazilian
development programs. Its work is publicised through
numerous regular publications and seminars. My internship
took place in the Coordination of Regulation Studies at IPEA
in the office Rio de Janeiro. I worked on a research project –
“Collusion and corruption in public procurement, public carriers
and forms of remuneration for the employees” – under
the supervision of Eduardo Pedral Sampaior Fiuza and Lucia
Helena Salgado, both researchers at IPEA and professors at
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.
My job as an intern was to compile a database of cartel
cases judged by CADE (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa
Economica) between 1994 and 2006. CADE is the main
institution in Brazil that investigates and prosecutes antitrust
cases. I found this process incredibly interesting because all
I had learned about cartel formation in class was extremely
theoretical. When I started the research I found out that cartel
formation is all around us. There are cartels in many sectors of
the economy: magazines, stores, drycleaners, funeral homes,
gas stations, construction, metro stations and so on. In my
work, I identified each antitrust cases and I gathered basic
information about them (Date of Formalization, Trial Date,
industry, etc.). Identifying and condemning cartels is a very
complex process not only due to technical issues but also
corruption and lobbying by many firms. At the end of my
internship I realized the importance of regulation of market
failures and all the difficulties this implies.
2. How did your experience in the TSE help you on the job?
For this internship my classes in microeconomics where
essential to understand and carry out the research, because
I had to apply the concepts of cartel formation, price-fixing,
price regulation and antitrust policies. Definitely these
industrial organization theories became more concrete
during the internship. The most interesting part was that until
I did my internship these theses were mainly class concepts
and I had never analyzed them in the real world.
3. How did you get the internship? Do you have any advice
for students looking for a job in a similar field?
I was able to obtain this internship because of my personal
networking. I talked to a friend of mine who studies
economics in Brazil and asked him about the procedure in
Brazil to get an internship at the IPEA. He then mentioned
that one of his professors, Lucia Helena Salgado, had been
visiting professor at TSE for Master 2 ECL and was a researcher
at the IPEA. I believe that being a student at the TSE helped a
lot when I contacted her.
I think that my recommendation is that we have to invest
in networking using personal and virtual relationships, for
example, professors, alumni and other students of the TSE.
You can never know where a job opportunity might be.