Working papers

with Diego Ramos-Toro | Featured in Foco Económico

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.


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.


Work in progress

Source: Own creation using Bing.

Entrepreneurs in developing countries often face informational and behavioral constraints that prevent optimal decision-making. Different types of programs, such as training or consulting sessions, can effectively reduce these barriers but are generally expensive to scale up. This paper analyses the impact of a low-cost intervention aimed at promoting better planning on the performance of micro-enterprises in Latin America. The experiment was conducted in partnership with a major e-commerce platform, providing access to nearly 15,000 firms along with administrative data on their daily sales and characteristics. The intervention consisted of sending messages to entrepreneurs during the two weeks leading up to Black Friday, reminding them of the event and encouraging them to plan their discount and advertising strategies. Results show that the messages led to better stock management and a more effective advertising strategy, resulting in 4% higher revenue over a period of around 60 days. At a cost of $0.12 per treated firm, these findings demonstrate that cheap and scalable interventions can be effective at supporting the growth of micro-enterprises in developing countries.

with Pablo Balán

with Diego Ramos-Toro