A global analysis of the impact of COVID-19 stay at home restrictions on crime, with A. Nivette and others, Nature Human Behavior, 2021, Vol 5: 868–877 .
The Great Lockdown and criminal activity - Evidence from Bihar, India , CEPR COVID Economics, 2020, 1(29): 141-163.
Media Coverage: Ideas for India, Ideas for India (Hindi)
Equilibrium with limited-recourse collateralized loans (2013) with J.P. Torres-Martínez, Economic Theory, 53: 181.
Information affecting a candidate's reputation might have significant electoral consequences. Do candidates respond to the release of information? Using Brazilian elections and audits as an exogenous source of information, I show that both incumbent and challenger increase their campaign spending when detrimental information affects the incumbent's reputation. Conversely, beneficial information decreases candidates' spending. The main channel is that information affects the expected competitiveness of elections and, therefore, candidates' spending. Only information disclosed before electoral campaigns impacts campaign spending. Furthermore, incumbents also adapt a conditional cash transfers program by increasing (decreasing) the beneficiaries when detrimental (beneficial) reputation shocks occur.
Many crimes involve physical interaction between victim and perpetrator. I study the dynamic effects of a policy changing how individuals interact on crime and disentangle the underlying mechanisms. Using case-level data from Bihar, India and a regression discontinuity design in time (RDiT), I document a crime drop of 58 percent due to the imposition of the lockdown, driven by the low probability of a criminal-victim encounter. Districts with low lockdown compliance (high mobility) have lower crime reductions than high-compliance ones. I find evidence of temporal displacement for property crimes but not for personal crimes suggesting that lockdowns have an absolute positive impact on non-gainful criminal behavior.
This paper introduces a two-stage contest model with reference-dependent preferences to study the determinants of conflict and its intensity. I show the existence of a Subgame Perfect Nash equilibrium in pure strategies, and characterize the properties of the equilibrium. The model shows that reference points play a crucial role in the decision of waging war, and in the level of intensity of the conflict. The model delivers predictions in line with the evidence, and explains empirical regularities that previous models cannot account for. The model encompasses two of the most common empirical patterns found in the conflict literature. Conflicts are more likely to occur after negative income shocks due to the current situation being perceived as a loss compared to agents' reference points. Additionally, income reduces the odds of conflict if agents are more risk-averse for gains than risk-seeker for losses.
Voting from Abroad: Assessing the Impact of Local Turnout on Expatriates' Voting Behaviour (with Divya Dev and Alessandro Toppeta)
Over 150 countries allow expatriate citizens to vote in their country of origin. Yet, little is known about their voting behavior and how this is affected by host countries. Using unique microdata on Chilean expatriates living in Europe, we study how the host country's turnout affects expatriates' electoral participation in the 2017 Chilean Presidential election. We focus on the 2014 European Parliament election turnout in the district of the Chilean's geocoded residence and exploit local transitory shocks to the cost of voting given by rainfall on the day of the election. The results suggest a trade-off between political engagement in the host country and the home country. A 1 percentage point increase in host country's turnout decreases electoral participation of Chilean expats by nearly 1 percentage point. We find stronger effects for young Chilean expats and those living in small communities, and in localities more welcoming to migrants.