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.

European Union Membership and CO2 Emissions: 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 changes, in turn, will affect CO2 emissions sources and levels. This is especially true for new Member States that joined during the 2004-2007 enlargement of the European Union, 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.

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 cultural district laws but not others? Exploring the difference in timing of adoption by each state, I examine the determinants of cultural district laws. Following the policy diffusion literature I test whether there is government, imitation, and learning mechanisms driving the adoption of cultural district laws in the United States. The results suggest the presence of government competition and imitation mechanisms. That is, government compete with those nearby and close in production structure, and learn from those similar to them.

Working Papers

(drafts available upon request)

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.