Girls and Boys Learning Together with Walter Garcia-Fontes. April 2015.

We propose estimating peer effects when girls and boys learn together by exploiting within-school variation in the share of girls/boys across birth cohorts. In school systems without grade retention, our birth cohort approach is equivalent to the grade level approach used in the literature. In school systems with grade retention, our birth cohort approach has the advantage that it does not yield spurious peer effects of girls/boys on the learning success of girls or boys. We apply the birth cohort approach and the grade level approach to primary schools in Spain, which permit grade retention.

Agricultural Risk and Spread of Religious Communities with Philipp Ager. March 2015.

The Contribution of Schooling in Development Accounting: Results from a Nonparametric Upper Bound with Francesco Caselli (with permission from Elsevier). Journal of Development Economics 2013.

Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: A Comment (October 2011) with additional results in a Web Appendix. A paper revisiting Miguel, Satyanath, and Sergenti’s (2004) study of rainfall and civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. The data is available on the AEJ website.

Estimating the Effect of Transitory Economic Shocks on Civil Conflict. Review of Economics and Institutions 2013. Deals with IV estimation of the effect of transitory shocks on civil conflict.

Schooling Supply and the Structure of Production: Evidence from US States 1950-1990, with Giovanni Peri. August 2011. Preliminary. Comments welcome.

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Jose G. Montalvo, Marta Reynal, and I have organized a conference on the political economy of economic development on May 9 and 10, 2013 (program).

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At the 2010 World Congress of the Econometric Society in Shanghai I discussed Gino Gancia, Andreas Müller, and Fabrizio Zilibotti’s “Directed Technology Adoption and Productivity Differences“. My discussion focused on their theory’s implications for international wage premia. I also discussed Chad Jones’ “Misallocation, Economic Growth, and Input-Output Economics“. My discussion pointed to instances where the allocation of inputs is optimal and measured misallocation reflects faster technological progress.  I also discussed different ways of modelling input linkages (and their implications for the TFP multiplier) and explored how input linkages may induce vertical integration.

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Francesco Caselli, Rafael DiTella, Gerard Padró i Miquel, and I have organized a conference on the political economy of economic development on April 30 and May 1, 2010 (program and most papers). Timothy Besley (LSE) and James Robinson (Harvard) gave keynote speeches. The conference was at Món Sant Benet and has been sponsored by CREI and Caixa Manresa.

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My 21 April 2009 Royal Economics Society conference presentation of International commodity prices, growth, and the outbreak of civil war in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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At the 2009 RES conference I also discussed Chang-Tai Hsieh and Peter Klenow‘s “What have we learned about growth?”. My comment focused on the contribution of schooling to development accounting. I argued that the development accounting framework is not well suited for the scenario where different schooling levels are imperfect substitutes (which seems the relevant case). But–maybe surprisingly–the answers of development accounting turn out to be quite accurate answers to a slightly different question: how much would productivity rise if poor countries were to close (only) the schooling gap with rich countries? (Unfortunately the answer is “not much.”) My slides are available in ppt and pdf.

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My presentation (ppt, pdf) at the EDR conference May 7-8 in Barcelona. It is about whether negative rainfall shocks and international commodity price shocks started civil conflicts/wars in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main empirical result is that they did. I show that establishing this result involves understanding and correctly modelling the difference between transitory shocks (like rainfall shocks) and permanent shocks (like commodity price shocks).

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Walter Garcia-Fontes and I wrote a paper on The Quality of the Catalan and Spanish Education Systems: A Perspective from PISA which is part of a public policy project co-ordinated by Pankaj Ghemawat and Xavier Vives of IESE. The appendix is available here.