Research

Working papers

Source: Own creation using Bing.

This paper provides experimental evidence that nudging managers to plan in advance for a business opportunity can improve firm performance. I leverage an experiment involving 14,500 small e-commerce firms in Argentina and Brazil, which consisted of randomizing messages that encouraged managers to plan their pricing and advertising strategies for Black Friday, a major sales event. Consistent with enhanced planning, treated firms shifted from generic to discount-related advertising and increased their inventories before the event. This led to a 4% increase in sales for 20 to 60 days post-intervention. Additional evidence suggests that the nudge helped managers overcome procrastination. Finally, the effects are stronger among relatively larger firms that use search engine optimization (SEO) tools, suggesting that pre-established capabilities are important for reaping the benefits of the intervention.

[paper]

with Diego Ramos-Toro | Featured in Foco Económico and Faculti

This paper studies conscription’s role in durably shaping attitudes and beliefs consistent with nation-building. We pair original survey data covering 29 cohorts of conscripts in Argentina with random variation in service emerging from a lottery. We find that serving in the military leads to a stronger national identity and social integration several decades after serving but does not affect civic behaviors such as voting or paying taxes. Value inculcation during service helps explain the baseline patterns, while exposure to and interaction with diverse peers reinforce but do not explain the results.

[paper] [video discussion]

Source: Own creation using Midjourney.

Bravo Center Graduate Student Working Paper #2022-003 

This paper explores the impact of football rivalries on social cohesion in Latin America. These rivalries create intracommunity divisions that are orthogonal to other cleavages such as socioeconomic status or ethnicity. This context provides the opportunity to study whether salient events that involve opposing groups within a community can improve social outcomes. Exploiting quasi-experimental variation in the timing of football matches and public opinion surveys across eleven countries and twenty rivalries, I find that social cohesion tends to improve in the days after a match, except when players behave violently or unethically. Effects are broadly shared by everyone, not just football fans, and are not explained by changes in insecurity or a generalized better mood. Taken together, these findings show that certain divisive events can improve the cohesiveness of a community, especially when mediated by the good behavior of role models.

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Work in progress

with Pablo Balán

with Diego Ramos-Toro