Universitat de Barcelona logotipo

2023/10: Birds of a feather earn together. Gender and peer effects at the workplace

Utilizing comprehensive administrative data from Brazil, we investigate the impact of peer effects on wages, considering both within-gender and cross-gender dynamics. Since the average productivity of both individuals and their peers is unobservable, we estimate these values using worker fixed effects while accounting for occupational and firm sorting. Our findings reveal that within-gender peer effects have approximately twice the influence of cross-gender peer effects on wages for both males and females. Furthermore, we observe a reduction in the disparity between these two types of peer effects in settings characterized by greater gender equality.

2023/09: How do labels and vouchers shape unconditional cash transfers? Experimental evidence from Georgia

We implemented a randomized control trial in Georgia to study how labels and food vouchers affect household expenditure among low-income recipients of unconditional cash transfers. Households were randomly assigned to receive only an unconditional cash transfer, a label indicating an amount intended for children’s expenses in addition to the transfer, or a portion of the transfer as a food voucher usable exclusively at designated stores. We find that labelling increases the share of expenditure on children. Meanwhile, food vouchers reduce total consumption, this being likely due to the increased cost associated with shopping at voucher-accepting shops.

2023/08: Has Covid vaccination success increased the marginal willingness to pay taxes?

The Covid-19 vaccination campaign can be regarded as a public-sector success story. Given the shock caused by the pandemic, the visible and successful response of the public authorities regarding vaccination might have elicited an increase in the public’s trust. We test whether the vaccination process has increased the marginal willingness to pay taxes (MWTP). Taking advantage of the different paths of vaccination in Spain, we pursue a difference-in-difference empirical strategy, complemented by an event study, to infer causality running from vaccination to MWTP. We find an increase in MWTP caused by the good governance related to vaccination

2023/07: Spillover effects and regional determinants in the Ecuadorian clean-cooking program: A spatiotemporal econometric analysis

Developing countries are making great efforts to electrify residences to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and deal with climate change. In 2014, Ecuador launched a clean-cooking program known as the Programa de Cocción Eficiente (PCE) aimed at replacing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-fired cookstoves and LPG-fired boilers with electric devices. Using an original dataset of monthly information (2015-2021) at the parish level, we study several important determinants of participation in this program that have not yet been addressed. We first model spatial spillovers and then investigate the impact of regional power quality and the effect of other subsidized programs related to electricity consumption. Our results show spillover effects for PCE participation with regard to cooking but not for the overall PCE participation rate. Higher participation is associated to better supply quality and with the use of other power subsidies. Policy recommendations include the need to perform detailed spatial analyses of the determinants of participation in these programs, instead of using surveys, and designing programs using a placed-based approach, in addition to evaluating cross-sectional effects between subsidies in advance in order to avoid unforeseen trade-offs and considering the regulatory framework for utilities to provide effective incentives to improve supply quality.

2023/06: Issue brief: college students’ social capital and their perceptions of local and national cohesion

Using Queens College (a four-year college in NYC public system) students’ survey data from 2022/23, we find that vulnerable students have less social capital in terms of physical order and social support in their neighborhoods. While social capital is directly related to self-reported neighborhood and national cohesion, resilience, and better mental health, different components of social capital matter for specific demographics.
Physical order is more salient for less vulnerable students while social support is more salient for vulnerable students. Our findings underscore the need for policy action to be tailored to specific groups, rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach.

2023/05: Real estate prices and land use regulations: Evidence from the law of heights in Bogotá

Between 2015 and 2017, the Law of Heights (Policy-562) regulated areas of urban renewal in specific locations of Bogotá (Colombia). Using a novel dataset based on detailed information at the block level between 2008 and 2017, we study whether this policy affected real estate prices. Our empirical strategy compares the price per square meter before and after Policy-562 in treated blocks and in control blocks with similar pre-treatment traits. Results show that prices increased more in treated blocks than in the rest of the city. We also provide evidence that results are heterogeneous from a temporal, land use and strata point of view.