Available for interviews at
European Job Market for Economists (EEA)
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)
International Economics, International Trade and Trade Policy
"Revisiting the Effects of Preferential Trade Agreements" (Job Market Paper)
Every country in the world is a member of at least one Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). Since countries choose to become members, selection bias is a key challenge in identifying the effects of these agreements on trade. I build a comprehensive dataset, and use the blocking estimator from the causal inference framework to address the selection issue. I find that after accounting for selection, PTAs increase bilateral trade by 48% fifteen years after entry into force. The effects kick in gradually, with one third realizing five years prior to the agreement. Anticipation effects are only present for ‘non-natural’ trading partners – geographically distant countries that trade little, and have a low probability of signing an agreement. I show that the methods that do not account for selection may substantially overestimate the effects. Equipped with the empirical estimates, I build a model to analyze the general equilibrium effects of a recent important PTA.
Research Papers in Progress
“Measuring Heterogeneity Across Preferential Trade Agreements"
Most studies of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) use gravity models with PTAs as binary variables. This approach leaves out substantial amount of metadata and semantic information embodied within the texts. Over the last several decades the PTA texts have evolved, creating a considerable variation in the content and structure across agreements. I construct a novel dataset with individual characteristics of PTAs and a document-term matrix. Using text-mining techniques and predetermined intended semantic meanings, I build a continuous index measuring heterogeneity in legal enforceability across PTAs.
"Anticipation Effects in Preferential Trade Agreements"
Using data on Colombia's firm-level exports from 2006 to 2020 I study whether firms react in anticipation to a Preferential Trade Agreement. I collect detailed information on the negotiation process (the announcement of the negotiations, the timing of the negotiation rounds, the treaty signature, etc.) Exploiting the variation across destinations for Colombian firms exports, I analyze trade patterns over the life cycles of trade agreements. The universe of transactions helps me disentangle the contributions of extensive and intensive margins of trade.
"Efficient Tariffs under Strategic Side Payments" (with M. Gavan)