About me

As a researcher, I am interested in answering questions through causality testing and impact evaluation methods using cutting-edge data, rigorous economic theory, and statistical/econometric techniques.

Education

I am Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona with experience in economic analysis ...

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Work experience

Evalution Specialist at Ministry of Planning - Colombia (Departemento Nacional de Planeación)

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Research

Work in progress, working papers, and more

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Education

"Economics is where the action starts"

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Barcelona GSE, Bellaterra, España

  • Ph.D in Applied Economics (Cum Laude)

    July 2017.
    Thesis Topic:

    Essays on Development Economics: Three research papers that combines the evaluation of health universalization policy and the study of adaptability and resilience to the effects of climate change on health and labor outcomes in Jamaica.

    Adviser: 
    Diether Beuermann- Inter-American Development Bank
    Defense comitee:
    Giacomo de Giorgi (Chair) - University of Geneva and Barcelona GSE
    Libertad Gonzalez - Universitat Pumpeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE
    Emilio Padilla - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
    Area of Study:

    Climate Change, Development Economics, Environmental Economics

  • Master in Economic Analysis

    July 2014.
    Thesis Topic:

    Is There Any Informal Insurance? The Case of Jamaica. Using geo-referenced data for the strongest hurricanes from NOAA during 2002 - 2008 and the Jamaica’s Household survey, this paper investigates whether households use informal social insurance as coping strategy to mitigate climate impacts.

    Adviser: 
    Giacomo de Giorgi - University of Geneva and Barcelona GSE.
    Area of Study:

    Development Economics

Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá DC, Colombia

  • Master of Arts in Economics

    March 2008.
    Thesis Topic:

    An Extension of Downs’ Political Competition Model using Fuzzy Logic (Social choice under policies’ fuzzy perception)

    Adviser: 
    Alvaro Moreno- Universidad Nacional de Colombia
    Area of Study:

    Fuzzy sets applyed into Median Voter Theorem

    B.A. in Economics

    September 2006

Inter-American Development Bank-Washington DC

  • Synthetic controls.

    December 2015,
    Instructor:
    Alberto Abadie (Harvard University).
  • Regression Discontinuity Design.

    October 2015,
    Instructor:
    Matias Cattaneo (University of Michigan).

Work Experience

Economics and Data.

Departamento Nacional de Planeación-DNP (Ministry of Planning). 2020.
Bogotá, Colombia.

Evaluation specialist and coordinator of the evaluations group



The main tasks are to design the DNP's evaluation of public policies' agenda, define evaluation teams, deliver knowledge on evaluation strategies to public institutions, strengthening international relationships with entities in the field. Also, I am the leader of the impact evaluation of Ingreso Solidario program.

Centro de Estudios Regionales Cafeteros y Empresariales - CRECE. 2018 - 2020. Bogotá - Manizales, Colombia.

  • Executive Director.                                                                                                  

    Tasks:

    I was the lead economist at the center. Coordinate and organize tasks teams in order to fulfill client's needs on economic analysis and impact evaluations on a broad set of interventions, principally (but not restricted to) those implemented in the rural, agricultural areas -Education, sustainability, housing.

Inter-American Development Bank Group. 2008-2018. Washington D.C. USA.

  • Applied microeconomist, Panel data analyst, Impact evaluation and causal inference analyst.

    Country Department Caribbean Countries- Consultant.
    Tasks:

    I was the lead researcher on the causal effects of climate change on socioeconomic outcomes in the Caribbean.

  • Office of Evaluation and Oversight - Research Fellow.
    Tasks:

    I was the lead researcher on the causal effects of housing vouchers on socioeconomic outcomes in Colombia and Panama.

World Bank Group. Washington D.C. USA. 2010 - 2012.

  • World Development Report group and Data Group Research Department - Consultant.

    Data base engineer and Dataset management for the World Bank’s micro-data repository.

Presidency of Colombia. Acción Social. Bogotá, Colombia. 2007 - 2008.

  • Technical adviser for Survey design Field Supervisor and data analyst

    Sub-direction of Aid to refugee population and to Alternative development programs for illicit crops in Department of Meta. Refugees Living conditions’ Survey design, field supervisor, and analyst.

Centro de Estudios Regionales Cafeteros y Empresariales - CRECE. 2018 - present. Bogotá - Manizales, Colombia.

Research Documents

Publications, WorkING PAPERS, AND BOOK CHAPTERS

JOB MARKET PAPER: The Effects of Natural Disasters on Labor Market: Do Hurricanes Increase Informality?

This paper studies the probability of formally employed men falling into informality because of exposure to hurricanes and tropical storms. It combines destruction variables calculated from storms’ physical characteristics at the district level with 36 quarterly rounds of labour force sur- veys in Jamaica. The empirical strategy exploits variation arising from the storms’ timing, inten- sity, and geographic locations within a panel-random effects endogenous choice model framework. Read more. Submitted

The effect of eliminating health user fees on adult health and labor supply in Jamaica

With Diether Beuermann
This paper estimates the effects of Jamaica’s elimination of user fees in public health facilities on the health and labor supply of working-age individuals. The policy change affected about 83 percent of the population, that is, those who lack health insurance and mainly rely on the public health system. The analysis finds no effects among individuals younger than 40 years old. However, for individuals within the 40–64 age range, the analysis finds that the policy reduced the number of lost days due to illness by 44.3 percent. No effects were found on employment or labor formality at the extensive margin. However, consistent with a reduced number of lost days, the analysis identified a positive effect on labor supply at the intensive margin equivalent to 3.04 weekly hours. Finally, overall benefits are relatively stronger for women, thereby reducing the observed baseline disadvantages relative to men. Read more. Journal of Health Economics

The effects of weather shocks on early childhood development: Evidence from 25 years of tropical storms in Jamaica

With Diether Beuermann
This study analyses the effects of exposure to tropical storms and hurricanes during pregnancy on children’s anthropometric measures taken within the first five years of life. We merge destruction indexes calculated at the district level with 13 yearly rounds of household level surveys from Jamaica. The empirical strategy exploits variation arising from the storms’ timing and intensity across different cohorts within the same district. The findings rule out medium-to-large overall adverse effects of tropical storms. However, when expectant mothers living in coastal-rural areas are affected by the cumulative destruction of two hurricanes, their children experience negative impacts on both weight-for-age and weight-for-height measures. Read more. Economics and Human Biology

The Effect of Eliminating Health User Fees on Adult Health and Labor Supply in Jamaica

With Diether Beuermann
We estimate the effects of Jamaica’s abolition of user fees in public health facilities on health status and labor supply of working age individuals. This policy affected about 83 percent of the population who lack health insurance and mainly rely on the public health system. We find no effects among relatively younger individuals below 40 years old. However, for individuals within the 40–64 age range, we find that the policy reduced the number of lost days due to illnesses by 44.3 percent. We find no effects on employment or labor formality at the extensive margin. However, consistent with a reduced number of lost days, we find a positive effect on labor supply at the intensive margin equivalent to 3.04 weekly hours. Furthermore, effects are stronger for women, thereby reducing the observed baseline disadvantages relative to men. Forthcoming Journal of Health Economics

Religion as an Unemployment Insurance and the Basis of Support for Public Safety Nets: The Case of Latin America and the Caribbean.

This paper explores the role of religion in mitigating the degree to which unemployment reduces subjective well-being and it examines its support of social programs. The paper goes beyond existing literature in three ways: It extends existing literature to Latin America and Caribbean countries; it explicitly includes analysis of two confounders (social capital and personal traits) ignored in existing literature, and it moves beyond correlation by using the propensity score method to tease out a causal relationship between religion and well-being. We find that religion acts as a buffer: Unemployed religious people are relatively happier than are nonreligious unemployed people. However, in contrast with the existing literature, we find that religious people are relatively more supportive of the public social policy. Read more.

Trust and Institutions in Caribbean Countries. Published in Nurturing institutions for a resilient Caribbean / editors, Diether W. Beuermann and Moisés J. Schwartz.

The Effects of Crime on Economic Growth, Tourism, Fear, Emigration, and Life Satisfaction. Published in Restoring paradise in the Caribbean: combatting violence with numbers / editors, Heath- er Sutton, Inder Ruprah.

Work in progress

Impact Evaluation of Ingresos Solidario

With Jorge Gallego (URosario), Bridget Hoffman (IDB), Pablo Ibarrarán (IDB), Marco Stampini (IDB), and Diego Vera (IDB)
Colombian government executed the most massive data analysis in history to locate vulnerable populations to include them in the social safety net. The result is the design of a Non'conditional Cash Transfer to cover vulnerable households that are not eligible for other programs like Familias en Acción, Jóvenes en Acción, Colombia Mayor, in others. This program is called Ingreso Solidario, and it is intended to help vulnerable populations cope with the risk associated with losing jobs due to COVID 19 pandemic. This evaluation will shed light in two directions: first, it will tell to the government how the program helped the beneficiaries to overcome the adverse effects of the stay-at-home policy on some welfare-related outcomes, and second, understand how this kind of programs could allow the vulnerable population improves financial inclusion conditions. The latter will guide the government to improve the channels to reach vulnerable and poor households more effectively.

Did Ingresos Solidario Reduce Mobility?

With Jorge Gallego, Mounu Prem (URosario), and Felipe Gonzalez (UChile)
Restrictions to mobility were, across the globe, paramount policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, this kind of measure is hard to obey, especially for informal and vulnerable populations due to their income generation process. Colombian government designed a Non'conditional Cash Transfer program to cover those informal and vulnerable households that are not eligible for other programs like Familias en Acción, Jóvenes en Acción, Colombia Mayor, in others. Using mobile phone data from Grandata and UNDP, we would like to test if the program implied a reduction in mobility exploiting variation from Ingreso Solidario's beneficiaries' geographic location. This evidence will shed light on how the program helped or not its beneficiaries in reducing exposure to the virus. A potential transmission channel is through a reduction of the need to go out to generate income. This transmission channel will be tested in the impact evaluation.
Other Research

Stata files

In this page you will find some stata code I generated for my research.
Multivariate probit.
The mnvp procedure from Cappellari, L., & Jenkins, S. P. (2006) cannot be implemented in the Mac system since the plugin is only available for Windows. The C++ code below provides Mac users with Stata 14 MP the source to generate a new plugin to implement this procedure. I thank profesor Stephen Jenkins for providing the original code file I used to produce the Macintosh's compatible plugin for Stata 14 MP.

*mvnp.c

Also, the plugin can be downloaded from here.

A four-variate likelihood function using Stata is provided in the following link:
*My_LLf.do
Please be advised that the provision of these program and code does not make me responsible for any data loss you may suffer. Please use it at your own risk. 

Conferences

  • 22nd Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and Latin American Meeting of the Econometric Society (LAMES). Buenos Aires, Argentina 2017
  • International Economics Association - World Congress. Mexico D.F. Mexico. 2017
  • Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. USA. 2018

Contact info

Address:
Edificio EnTerritorio
Calle 26 # 13 -19, piso 36
Bogota,
Colombia
e-mail:
c...@gmail.com
phone:
+57-311-874-8112