Fields: Political Economy, Public Economics, Labor Economics
- “Strengthening State Capabilities: The Role of Financial Incentives in the Call to Public Service”. Quarterly Journal of Economics 128 (3), 2013 (with Ernesto Dal Bó and Fred Finan).
- “Frustration, Euphoria, and Violent Crime”. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming 2013 (with Ignacio Munyo).
- “The Labor Market Return to an Attractive Face: Evidence from a Field Experiment.” Economics Letters 118 (1), 170-172, 2013 (with Florencia López Bóo and Sergio Urzúa).
- “Term Length and the Effort of Politicians.” Review of Economic Studies, 78 (4), 1237-1263, 2011 (with Ernesto Dal Bó).
- “Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3 (April), 119-136, 2011 (with Sebastián Galiani and Ernesto Schargrodsky).
- “Money for Science? The Impact of Research Grants on Academic Output.” Fiscal Studies 29 (1), 75-87, 2008 (with Daniel Chudnovsky, Andrés Lopez, and Diego Ubfal).
- “Corruption and Inefficiency: Theory and Evidence from Electric Utilities in Latin America.” Journal of Public Economics 91 (5-6), 939-962, 2007 (with Ernesto Dal Bó).
- “Do Regulation and Ownership Drive the Efficiency of Electricity Distribution? Evidence from Latin America.” Economics Letters 86 (2), 253-257, 2005 (with Antonio Estache).
- “The Case for International Coordination of Electricity Regulation: Evidence from the Measurement of Efficiency in South America.” Journal of Regulatory Economics 25 (3), 271-295, 2004 (with Antonio Estache and Christian Ruzzier).
Work in Progress:
"First-Day Recidivism" (with Ignacio Munyo).
We find that on any given day the number of inmates released from incarceration significantly affects the number of offenses committed that day. Our estimates are robust to a variety of alternative specifications. We run a series of placebo experiments that further support our causal interpretation of the results. We also find evidence that an increase in the amount of money received by prisoners at the time of their release significantly decreases first-day recidivism, and that first-day recidivism is restricted to crimes with a direct financial motivation. These findings suggest that our results are driven by liquidity constraints.
“Wealth and Political Power. Evidence from the Foundation of Buenos Aires.”
I exploit a unique historical event to explore the causal relationship between wealth and representative political power. Shortly after the foundation of Buenos Aires, plots of land in the outskirts of the city were randomly assigned to all heads of household that participated in the expedition. This random allocation of land generated an exogenous variation on families’ wealth that I use to identify the causal relationship between wealth and the probability of having posterior political success. I find that those families receiving land closer to the city of Buenos Aires have a higher probability of achieving political success, supporting the hypothesis that wealth causes political power. I also test for mechanisms and find support for the hypothesis that wealth signals (or improves) ability.
"Closer to the Night Owls: The Impact of the Evening School Shift on Risk Behavior” (with Ana María Reynoso).
We study if adolescents that are more exposed to nightlife engage later in more risk behavior. To address this question we evaluate if adolescents attending high school during the evening behave differently than those attending high school during the morning or the afternoon. Given that preference for nightlife is endogenous in a model of risk behavior, we take advantage of the lottery allocation of school shifts in a public high school in the city of Buenos Aires. We find that women attending high school in the evening present a higher probability of getting an abortion and start to have sex at a younger age. We also find that attending high school in the evening is associated to a higher probability of using hard drugs.