Work in Progress

Papers Under Review

Do Public Libraries Impact Local Labor Markets? Evidence from Appalachia (WP link)

This paper investigates the effect of public library programs and participation on unemployment and labor force participation in Appalachia. Appalachia is an economically distressed area, mostly rural, and with a sustained lower level of labor force participation and a higher level of unemployment. As public library programs can be countercyclical to labor market outcomes, I use public library staff and the amount of print resources and computers available as instruments. The results show that neither adult nor children’s programs and participation affect local labor market outcomes. These results are robust across different specifications. Spatial econometric estimates corroborate the main results and provide evidence of spatial spillover effects, especially for children’s programs.

Does Corruption Impact the Informal-Formal Sector Wage Gap? Evidence from Brazil (with Jamie Bologna) (WP link)

This paper investigates the relationship between political corruption and the informal-formal sector income gap. We focus on a sample of 476 randomly selected municipalities in Brazil, and combine individual level Census data with measures of municipal corruption. We first document the upward pressure corruption puts on the informal-formal income gap. We then utilize a measure of mismanagement by governmental officials as an instrument for corruption to show that these results are robust to plausibly exogenous variation in corruption. When disaggregating the results, we show that the effect of corruption is heterogeneous across industries, with a significant impact on the construction industry in particular.

Efficiency, but at What Cost? Evidence from a DEA Analysis of WV School Districts (with Eduardo Minuci and Josh Hall) (WP link)

West Virginia schools are consistently below the national average on the NAEP. Using Data Envelopment Analysis, we estimate the technical efficiency of West Virginia school districts. We find less variation in technical efficiency in West Virginia than in similar studies conducted in other states. This appears to be because of state policy imposing homogeneity of input usage. Due to the limited variation in technical efficiency across districts, we cannot analyze how non-school inputs such as socioeconomic factors affect technical efficiency across districts. Summary statistics organized by county economic status, however, suggest that socioeconomic status plays a role. Our results highlight an important limitation of DEA analysis on schools.

Spatial Spillovers of the Cultural Employment Growth in Brazilian Municipalities (with Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, Thiago Rios and Fernanda dos Santos) (WP link)

The Brazilian cultural sector is rarely explored in the literature, especially considering all municipalities at the same time in an economic and spatial perspective. This paper aims to measure the level of specialization, urbanization and diversification externalities on the cultural employment growth rate in Brazilian municipalities between 2006 and 2016. To do so, spatial econometric models are used. The main results indicate there are no spatial associations regarding cultural employment growth in Brazil. The lack of complementarity of this sector, associate with the lack of incentives for its development, particularly in small municipalities, helps to explain our results.

Working Papers

(drafts available upon request)

The Diffusion of Cultural District Laws Across US States

With the increasing number of cultural districts as place-based policies, one of the first questions that arise is why do some states adopt these cultural district laws but not others? Exploring the difference in timing laws by each state, I examine the determinants of cultural district laws. The results suggest the presence of geographical and industry competition, as well as an imitation and learning mechanism. In addition, the existence of tax and no tax incentives in neighboring laws have opposite effects on explaining the adoption of new laws by state governments.

Localization Economies and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Football Teams in São Paulo, Brazil (with Brad Humphreys)

Agglomeration economies clearly affect firms in urban areas. Interestingly, the existing literature on outcomes in professional sports largely ignores localization economies. We explore the variation in team productivity and the agglomeration of teams across leagues and cities in Campeonato Paulista an annual football competition played by teams in São Paulo state in Brazil. Our results show that localization and urbanization positively affect team success. These results help to shed more light on why teams in larger cities continuously enjoy more success than those isolated in smaller markets.

How Much Does Talent Matter? Evidence from the Brazilian Formal Cultural Industry (with Ricardo Freguglia)

The goal of this paper is to evaluate how much does talent – the individual non-observed characteristics – matter to explain the wage differences between workers from the cultural industry and workers from other formal industries in Brazil. To do so we use the data from 2003 to 2008 of the Rais-Migra – MTE, which is a true panel of formal workers from Brazil, and use fixed effects estimators to capture the talent measure and the Blinder (1973) and Oaxaca (1973) decomposition to seek for evidences of wage difference. The results imply that the talent is important in the determination of wages especially when considering formal workers in the cultural activities, occupations and workers in both cultural activities and occupation. The Oaxaca decomposition provides evidence that when considering talent, each of the groups paid their workers more per se, suggesting that not only the talent matter, but also that the formal cultural environment in Brazil positively discriminates their workers.

Environmental Costs of European Union Membership: A Structural Decomposition Analysis (with Inácio Araújo, Fernando Perobelli and Randall Jackson)

The interest in this paper lies in the environmental costs of the European Union (EU). EU membership requires a series of economic and political changes that should impact the country’s production and consumption structures and its trade relationships. These, in turn, will affect CO2 emissions sources and levels. This is especially true for the former Soviet Union countries that recently joined the EU, given the difference in their levels of development and production structure. Using a structural decomposition analysis we are able to quantify the main drivers of changes in emissions differentiating six components, namely: emissions intensity, industrial structure and sourcing, consumer preferences, final demand sourcing and consumption level. Grouping the countries into five clubs, New European Union countries, Old European Union countries, the United States of America, China, and the Rest of the World, we measure trading pattern changes and their impact on CO2 emission levels.