Job market candidate
Tel. +34 93 542 1191
Available for Interviews at :
Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía (SAEe), December 15-17, Bilbao, Spain
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA), January 6-8, Chicago, US
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Development Economics, Economics of Education, Political Economy
"Teacher Performance Pay and Student Learning: Evidence from a Nationwide Program in Peru" with Cristina Bellés (Job Market Paper)
We study a nationwide teacher pay-for-performance program implemented in public secondary schools in Peru in 2015, and examine its impact on student performance. The program takes the form of a tournament, awarding a bonus of over a month's salary to the principal and every teacher from schools in the top 20 percent within a group of comparable schools. Exploiting the fact that the main performance measure used to rank schools in this tournament is the average score of 8th graders in a 2015 standardized test, we perform a difference-in-differences estimation comparing changes in the internal grades of 8th graders before and after the incentive was introduced to those of 9th graders from the same school. We find that the teacher pay-for-performance program had a precisely estimated zero effect on student achievement, allowing us to reject impacts greater than 0.017 standard deviations, well below those previously found in the literature. We provide evidence against a series of potential explanations, and argue that this zero effect can be explained by some of the program's characteristics, which may have hindered teachers' ability to improve the incentivized outcome or infer their probability of winning.
“Compulsory Voting, Turnout and Government Spending: Evidence from Austria” (with Mitchell Hoffman and Gianmarco León) – Journal of Public Economics, 145 (2017): 103-115
We study a unique quasi-experiment in Austria, where compulsory voting laws are changed across Austria's nine states at different times. Analyzing state and national elections from 1949-2010, we show that compulsory voting laws with weakly enforced fines increase turnout by roughly 10 percentage points. However, we find no evidence that this change in turnout affected government spending patterns (in levels or composition) or electoral outcomes. Individual-level data on turnout and political preferences suggest these results occur because individuals swayed to vote due to compulsory voting are more likely to be non-partisan, have low interest in politics, and are uninformed.
“Which Tail Matters? Inequality and Growth in Brazil” (with Stephan Litschig)
We estimate the effect of initial income inequality on subsequent income per capita growth using sub-national data from Brazil over the period 1970-2000. Controlling for initial income per capita and other standard confounders, we find that places with higher initial inequality exhibit higher subsequent growth. This effect is entirely driven by the lower tail of the initial income distribution: places with a higher share of income going to the middle quintile at the expense of the bottom quintile grow more rapidly, while places with a higher share of income going to the top quintile at the expense of the middle quintile get no growth boost at all. We document that physical and human capital accumulation in places with higher inequality in the lower tail of the initial income distribution outpaces more equal places, while inequality in the upper tail of the distribution is uncorrelated with subsequent physical and human capital growth. These results are consistent with credit constraints and setup costs for human and physical capital investments as well as an increasing and concave individual propensity to save.
Research Paper in Progress
“Does School Year Length Matter? Measuring the Impact of Teachers' Strikes on Student Achievement in Argentina”