Professor Jorge Agüero has published “The value of redistribution: Natural resources and the formation of human capital under weak institutions” in the Journal of Development Economics.
The paper is coauthored with Carlos Felipe Balcázar, Stanislao Maldonado and Hugo Ñopo.
Abstract: We exploit time and spatial variation generated by the commodities boom to measure the effect of natural resources on human capital formation in Peru, a country with low governance indicators. Combining test scores from over two million students and district-level administrative data of mining taxes redistributed to local governments, we find sizable effects on student learning from the redistribution. However, and consistent with recent political economy models, the relationship is non-monotonic. Based on these models, we identify improvements in school expenditure and infrastructure, together with increases in health outcomes of adults and children, as key mechanisms explaining the effect we find for redistribution. Policy implications for the avoidance of the natural resource curse are discussed.
The paper may be found online at:
Professor Jorge Agüero has published his paper “COVID-19 and The Rise of Intimate Partner Violence” in World Development
The paper may be found online at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105217
The abstract is below:
Title: COVID-19 and The Rise of Intimate Partner Violence
Abstract: Stay-at-home policies have been implemented worldwide to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, there is a growing concern that such policies could increase violence against women. We find evidence in support of this critical concern. We focus on Peru, a country that imposed a strict nationwide lockdown starting in mid-March and where nearly 60% of women already experienced violence before COVID-19. Using administrative data on phone calls to the helpline for domestic violence (Línea 100), we find that the incidence rate of the calls increased by 48 percent between April and July 2020, with effects increasing over time. The rise in calls is found across all states and it is not driven by baseline characteristics, including previous prevalence of violence against women. These findings create the need to identify policies to mitigate the negative impact of stay-at-home orders on women’s safety.
Professor Jorge Agüero’s paper “Measuring Violence Against Women with Experimental Methods” has been accepted for publication by Economic Development and Cultural Change
The working paper may be found online at: https://ideas.repec.org/p/uct/uconnp/2020-14.html
Title: Measuring Violence Against Women with Experimental Methods
Authors: Jorge Aguero and Veronica Frisancho
Abstract: The prevalence of intimate partner violence is a central indicator of the Sustainable Development Goals for women’s agency. However, measuring this indicator largely relies on self-reports that could suffer from severe misreporting if women face high costs of revealing their victim status. We study the degree of misreporting in surveys that have been identified as the best source of data, such as the widely used Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Focusing on a sample of women in impoverished urban areas of Lima, Peru, we conduct an experiment that replicates direct measures from these surveys and compares them against list experiments, a method that provides greater privacy to respondents. We find no significant differences across direct and indirect methods in any of the seven acts of physical and sexual violence considered. This result largely persists when testing across sixteen different subgroups and accounting for multiple hypothesis testing.
Professor Jorge Agüero and third year PhD student Miranda Mendiola’s proposal “Role models: Information and Gender Stereotypes” for a pilot project, sponsored by the Innovation Laboratory for Cost-Effective Educational Policy – MineduLAB in the Peruvian Ministry of Education, has been approved.
Their project has the objective of reducing gender stereotypes and improving grades for high school students through the use of role models. Traditionally, efforts to reduce gender gaps have focused on empowering women. Professor Agüero and Miranda’s project focuses on changing the perception of both genders’ abilities by showing students movies that have young main characters being successful in careers that are nontraditional for their gender. They hope to improve women’s scores in STEM courses, where they traditionally perform worse, and also to improve men’s scores in courses they traditionally struggle with (Spanish and history). They will measure changes in gender bias through a questionnaire and a game, with the objective of measuring both explicit and implicit biases.
This project will hopefully be a pilot for a larger project in Peru, aiding in the reduction of gender bias in Peruvian schools.
Based on his research of the impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Professor Jorge Agüero has published two op-eds for Peruvian outlets on the economics of the Covid-19, how it could affect the Peruvian economy and the role of public policies to reduce the impact of the pandemic.
His February column was published in the leading newspaper El Comercio and his most recent article was published this week focusing on the difficulty of adopting hand washing as a common practice.
On October 30th, Economics undergraduate student Mary Vlamis presented her project ‘Can Inclusive Programs Reduce Racial and Gender Discriminations from the Labor Market?’ at the annual Fall Frontiers in Undergraduate Research poster exhibition.
She had the opportunity to present the project to students, faculty and others – including President Katsouleas (shown here).
Mary and Professor Jorge Agüero received a 2019 Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Research Experience (SHARE) award to work on this project, along with Research Scholar Francisco B. Galarza.
The project explores whether merit-based scholarships could reduce racial and gender discrimination in the Peruvian labor market, and how effective the national scholarship program is at narrowing the gap in hiring.
Jorge Agüero gave a keynote address at the 8th International Congress on Education at Ibagué, Colombia.
The congress took place between September 30 to October 2nd and centered on the issue of the length of the school day. Professor Agüero’s address focused on the successes and challenges of expanding the school day in secondary schools in developing countries based on his research in both Mexico and Peru.
Professor Jorge Agüero’s paper “The Intergenerational Transmission of Schooling among the Education-Rationed,” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Human Resources.
Professor Agüero’s paper, coauthored with his former student Maithili Ramachandran, estimates the intergenerational transmission of schooling in a country where the majority of the population was rationed in its access to education. By eliminating apartheid-style policies against blacks, the 1980 education reform in Zimbabwe swiftly tripled the progression rate to secondary schools. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, the authors find a robust intergenerational transmission. Several smoothness and placebo tests further validate their design. The authors show that both marriage and labor markets are key pathways in the schooling transmissions.
This is the third paper from the Department of Economics to be accepted at the Journal of Human Resources this academic year, along with papers from Professor Simon and Professor Furtado in the fall semester: Two Faculty Members Receive Journal of Human Resources Acceptances in the Same Month
Professor Jorge Agüero and his coauthor Trinidad Beleche have had their paper “Health Shocks and their Long-Lasting Impact on Health Behaviors: Evidence from the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic in Mexico” accepted for publication in the Journal of Health Economics.
Abstract: Worldwide, the leading causes of death could be avoided with health behaviors that are low-cost but also difficult to adopt. We show that exogenous health shocks could facilitate the adoption of these behaviors and provide long-lasting effects on health outcomes.
Specifically, we exploit the spatial and temporal variation of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in Mexico and show that areas with a higher incidence of H1N1 experienced larger reductions in diarrhea-related cases among young children. These reductions continue even three years after the shock ended. Changes in hand washing behaviors are behind these health improvements. Several robustness checks validate our findings and mechanism.
Professor Jorge Agüero (faculty) and Juan Campanario (student) are the recipients of the 2016 Undergraduate Economics Research Award Program (ERAP).
Their work on their project “Can Growth and Redistribution Reduce the Influence of Colonial Institutions? The Case of Peru’s Mining Mita” will be supported through the ERAP program, which is designed to assist research apprenticeships and research collaborations between undergraduate economics majors and economics faculty members.
The ERAP program enables the student to enhance research skills relevant to the field of economics, while the faculty member guides the project and provides mentorship. Only one award is given each academic year, with the student receiving a $1,500 fellowship and the faculty mentor receiving a $1,000 grant added to their departmental research accounts.
Congratulations to the award winning team!