Research in development economics





Drug Battles and School Achievement: Evidence from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas (with Rudi Rocha). Review of Economics and Statistics, May 2017, vol. 99, No. 2, pp. 213-228.[link] [resumo em portugues]

Media coverage: O Globo, CBN, Bom Dia Brasil


Public Expenditure in Education and School Achievement  (in Portuguese). Revista Brasileira de Economia, volume 69, numero 4, 2015. [link]

Media coverage: O Globo. 


Coming out of the shadows? Estimating the impact of bureaucracy simplification and tax cut on formality in Brazilian microenterprises (with Juliano Assuncao), Journal of Development Economics, Volume 99, Issue 1, September 2012, pages 105-115. [link]

Media coverage: Folha de Sao Paulo


Is mineral wealth a passport to the future? Evidence from oil royalties payments to Brazilian municipalities (in portuguese). In: Castelar, A. And Veloso, F.  (editors), Rio de Janeiro: Um Estado em Transi??o, 2012. Rio de Janeiro: FGV Editora. [link]


Soybeans in the Savannahs of Brazil (with Angela Rocha and Beatriz Kury). In: Sabel, C; Fernandez-Arias, E.; Hausmann, R.; Rodriguez-Clare, A. and Stein, E. (editors), Export Pioneers in Latin America, 2012. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Development Bank. [link]


The Rise and Fall of Furniture Exports in Sao Bento do Sul- Brazil (with Angela Rocha, Beatriz Kury and Alexandre Darz?). In: Sabel, C; Fern?ndez-Arias, E.; Hausmann, R.; Rodr?guez-Clare, A. and Stein, E. (editors), Export Pioneers in Latin America, 2012. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Development Bank.


The diffusion of exporting in Brazilian industrial clusters (with Angela Rocha and Beatriz Kury). Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Volume 21, Nos. 516, September-November 2009, 529?552. [link]


Labor Contract Determination in Brazilian Microenterprises (with Juliano Assuncao) (in Portuguese), Pesquisa e Planejamento Economico, Volume 39, n 1, 2009. [link]




Keeping the dream alive: The role of expectancy in police pay-for-performance programs (with Sandro Cabral, Sergio Firpo, Marcelo Marchesini e Leonardo Viotti), 2018. [link] 

Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of expectancy of being eligible to bonuses in a pay-for-performance (PFP) program designed to promote integration of police forces in Rio de Janeiro. We demonstrate that the expectancy to receive financial rewards are associated with reductions in the targeted crimes. While crimes that present interdependencies with the targeted outcomes also decrease, crime records that could easily substitute the targeted measures in order to game the system do not seem to be impacted by the program.  We also show that police officers who are still eligible to receive financial rewards at the end of the award cycle intensify their efforts to reduce crime without manipulating metrics and do reduce the use of lethal force against civilians.



Examining the dispersion of crime concentration during a period of crime increase in Rio de Janeiro (with Spencer Chainey), 2018. [link]

Abstract: Extensive empirical evidence shows that crime concentrates in place, with these findings being important for helping to determine the geographic focusing of police resources. Little is known, however, about whether these crime concentration areas are where crime tends to increase the most during a period of crime increase. Using data from the seven largest cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we show (using a simple index – the Crime Concentration Dispersion Index) that during a period of significant crime increase the locations most responsible for the increases were the micro-places where crime previously concentrated. We argue that the increases in crime in areas of crime concentration were mainly associated with these places offering stable opportunities for crime. The results importantly provide a Latin American urban perspective to the literature on crime concentration and provide a method that helps police agencies determine where to target resources during a period of crime increase.


State Presence and Urban Violence: evidence from Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas (with Claudio Ferraz and Bruno Ottoni), 2017. [link]

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of a large intervention aimed at retaking control of favelas dominated by drug gangs in the city of Rio de Janeiro. We use the differential timing in the implementation of this policy to assess how it affects crime and violence records both inside and outside favelas. We find that the strategy to occupy and establish permanent police units in favelas causes a significant reduction in violence not only in these territories but also in their surroundings. 


Learning to Punish. Resource Windfalls and Political Accountability (with Claudio Ferraz), 2014. [link]

Abstract: We use exogenous variation from oil-based revenues paid to local governments in Brazil to test whether voters reward incumbent mayors for increasing government spending and whether this reward varies over time as voters learn about the source of revenues and public service delivery. We find that an unexpected increase in oil-based revenues increase reelection rates for incumbents in the short-run. However, when we look over different elections allowing voters to learn about the revenue windfall and public goods' provision, we find different results. The reelection rates of incumbents, in elections that occur 10 years after the beginning of the oil boom, is lower when municipalities had an early oil windfall, when a large share of voters are informed (i.e.high media penetration and educated), and when public services and local development have not improved over the past decade.


Media Networks and Political Accountability: Evidence from Radio Networks in Brazil (with Horacio Lareguy), 2014. [link]

We examine how different types of media structure contribute to political accountability, analyzing the role of local radio stations, regional radio networks and television stations in compensating for the bias of Brazil's federal government against non-aligned municipality mayors when allocating drought relief aid. Theoretical and empirical evidence shows that radio networks play a central role in reducing federal government bias due to their ability to exchange information among affiliated radio stations operating in different municipalities. Radio networks, however, are only effective when they contain non-aligned municipalities that received federal aid; only information from such municipalities reveals the federal government's bias. 


Os Efeitos da Política de Pacificação sobre os Confrontos entre Facções de Drogas no Rio de Janeiro, 2013. [link]





Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in Brazil (with Claudio Ferraz), 2009.


The Emergence of New and Successful Export Activities in Brazil: Four Case Studies from the Manufacturing and the Agricultural Sector (with Angela Rocha, Alexandre Darz? and Beatriz Kury Pereira). IDB Research Network Working Paper #R-550. [link]


The role of flagship firms, external actors, and support institutions in the emergence of successful export activities in Brazil (with Angela Rocha and Beatriz Kury Pereira). IDB Research Network Working Paper #R-557. [link]


Assessing the Impact of the Micro and Small Enterprise Trade-Led Growth Project of USAID/Brazil (with Bonnie Brusky), 2008. [link]