Working papers

with Diego Ramos-Toro | Revise and Resubmit at Journal of the European Economic Association

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 at Faculti] [blog post at Foco Económico]

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 9,700 small e-commerce firms in Argentina and Brazil, which took place during the two weeks before Black Friday (BF), a major sales event. The intervention consisted of randomizing messages reminding managers that BF was approaching and encouraging them to plan their pricing and advertising strategies. 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. A causal forest estimation shows that the effects were stronger among relatively larger firms that use search engine optimization (SEO) tools, suggesting that pre-established capabilities may be a complement to light touch interventions.


Source: Own creation using Midjourney.

This paper explores the impact of football rivalries on social cohesion in Latin America. Unlike other parts of the world, Latin American football rivalries create intracommunity divisions that transcend other cleavages, such as regionality, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity. Moreover, matches between rivals offer the opportunity to study how salient and polarizing events that involve opposing groups from within a community affect its cohesiveness. Combining quasi-experimental variation in the timing of matches among the twenty most important rivalries in the region with public opinion surveys, I find that attitudes and beliefs conducive to social cohesion tend to improve for up to 30 days after a match. The effect is strongly moderated by the behavior of football players, as captured by the number of red cards awarded during the game, suggesting that football players serve as role models for the communities they represent.


Work in progress

with Pablo Balán

with Diego Ramos-Toro

Pre-doctoral work

CEDLAS Working Paper #145

In conjunction with the recovery of the Argentine economy between 2003 and 2011, income distribution improved considerably. Though it does not provide a quantitative assessment, the relevant literature points to the resurgence of union negotiation as central to this process. This paper provides an account of the evolution of intra-union and inter-union inequality in basic wage agreements signed during this period, and reveals considerable improvements in both. The second part of the paper studies the behavior of the Federación de Camioneros (Truckers’ Federation) and its role in wage negotiations during the same period.