Welcome to my website. I am an Assistant Professor at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. My research focuses on education, human capital, and development.
You can view my CV here.
[NEW VERSION!] Secondary Schools with Televised Lessons: The Labor Market Returns of the Mexican Telesecundaria (Job Market Paper)
Updated: December 2021, HCEO working paper 2021-053
In areas with an insufficient supply of qualified teachers, delivering instruction through technology may be a solution to provide education. This paper analyzes the educational and labor market impacts of an expansion of junior secondary education in Mexico through schools using televised lessons, the telesecundarias. Exploiting their staggered rollout from 1968 to 2000, I show that for every additional telesecundaria per 50 children, ten students enroll in junior secondary education. I find that an additional year of education increases long-run income by 12.5–13.9%, driven partly by increased labor force participation and a shift away from agriculture and the informal sector.
Accepted at 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.
Draft coming soon!
We conduct a randomized experiment with parents of secondary school children in Bangladesh to measure how reducing barriers to educational investments affects parental allocations of time and economic resources to their children's education, and ultimately student learning. Two treatments promote persistent math learning: one providing individualized teacher support by phone and one providing regular information about a novel remote learning platform, but the information effects disappear when it is supplemented with a free internet data package. We find that parental re-optimization is a key driver of the information-based learning effects, as information provision increases investment in private tutoring but does not change learning resource usage. Additionally, increases in usage of the recommended remote platform occur only when the information is provided alongside the free data package, suggesting that economic costs are a significant barrier to adopting new learning resources.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Capturing the Malleability of Social and Interpersonal Skills in Educational and Organizational Settings
with Caterina Calsamiglia