Welcome to my website. I am an Assistant Professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. My research focuses on labor, human capital, and education in developing countries.
You can view my CV here.
Secondary School Expansion through Televised Lessons: The Labor Market Returns of the Mexican Telesecundaria [Job Market Paper]
Updated draft coming soon!
In areas where there is an insufficient supply of qualified teachers, delivering instruction through technology may be a solution to meet the demand for education. This paper analyzes the educational and labor market impacts of an expansion of junior secondary education in Mexico through telesecundarias–schools using televised lessons, currently serving 1.4 million students. To isolate the effects of telesecundarias, I exploit their staggered rollout from 1968 to 2000. I show that for every additional telesecundaria per 50 children, ten students enroll in junior secondary education, resulting in a 0.7 increase in the average years of education among eligible cohorts. Using the telesecundaria expansion as an instrument, I find that an additional year of education induced by telesecundaria enrollment increases average income by 12.5–13.9%. This increase in income comes partly from increased labor force participation and a shift away from agriculture and the informal sector.
with Diether W. Beuermann, C. Kirabo Jackson, and Francisco Pardo
Resubmitted to the Review of Economic Studies
Updated: October 2021, NBER working paper 25342
To explore whether schools’ causal impacts on test scores measure their overall impact on students, we exploit plausibly exogenous school assignments and data from Trinidad and Tobago to estimate the causal impacts of individual schools on several outcomes. Schools’ impacts on high-stakes tests are weakly related to impacts on important outcomes such as arrests, dropout, teen motherhood, and formal labor-market participation. To examine if parents’ school preferences are related to these causal impacts, we link them to parents’ ranked lists of schools and employ discrete-choice models to infer preferences for schools. Parents choose schools that improve high-stakes tests even conditional on peer quality and average outcomes. Parents also choose schools that reduce criminality and teen motherhood, and increase labor market participation. School choices among parents of low-achieving students are relatively more strongly related to schools’ impacts on non-test-score outcomes, while the opposite is true for parents of high-achieving students. These results suggest that evaluations based solely on test scores may be misleading about the benefits of school choice (particularity for low-achieving students), and education interventions more broadly.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Data collection completed
Capturing the Malleability of Social and Interpersonal Skills in Educational and Organizational Settings
with Caterina Calsamiglia