Work half-time, receive full-time pay: Effect of novel family policy on female labor market outcomes (Job Market Paper) Link to paper
Many countries provide paid family leave to increase female labor force participation, improve gender equality, and foster family wellbeing. Yet, a large percentage of women do not return to work after maternity leave. Can a subsidy that allows a more flexible re-introduction to work increase work attachment after birth? I leverage the implementation of a subsidy in Uruguay that allows parents to work half-time while receiving full-time pay for 4 month after the culmination of maternity leave to answer this question. Utilizing employment survey data in a difference-in-differences framework, I find that this parental care subsidy led to an increase in the likelihood of employment among mothers in the short and middle-term, specially for disadvantaged women.
Effect of paid paternity leave on paternal involvement and labor market outcomes Link to paper
While many countries have implemented paid paternity leave (PPL), little is known about how these labor laws affect intra-household dynamics and labor market outcomes in low and middle-income countries. I leverage Ecuador’s 2009 PPL reform to study the effect of this policy on paternal involvement and labor market outcomes. I employ a difference-in-differences design that compares fathers of children born after 2009, to fathers of children born before 2009, who are employed in the formal sector (treated), versus informal sector (not treated). I find that fathers exposed to PPL increase time childrearing by 20 percent from an average of 2 hours per week. This effect is driven by the first-born child, is higher for fathers of girls, and is only present for educated and high-income fathers. Fathers who, pre-treatment, spend the least amount of time childrearing exhibit the largest gain. PPL does not lead to changes in formal employment, number of hours worked, or participation in housework. The results are robust to changes in the specification and the inclusion of individual fixed effects.
Banking the group: Impact of credit and linkages among Ugandan savings groups (with Alfredo Burlando and Jessica Goldberg) Link to paper
Traditional banks and microfinance institutions lend directly to clients using individual or joint liability contracts, and generally have strict rules on selection and repayments. In most rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, these formal institutions are uncommon. Financial services are more often provided by savings groups; however, these are often unable to fully meet local financial needs. In this paper, we study an alternative lending model with the potential to bridge the gap between formal and informal finance. In this delegated lending model, better known as linkage, a formal financial institution lends to savings groups and lets the group decide the allocation of borrowed funds. In our RCT, a random sample of existing savings groups gained access to linkage loans from a commercial bank in Uganda. We show that the bank loan stimulated an immediate and sizable increase in internal lending, which is sustained over time. Despite this benefit, we also find that linkages are a double-edged sword: On the one hand, members of treated groups had temporarily lower rates of food insecurity after two years, and point estimates suggest sizable increases in income and microenterprise size (which are not statistically significant). On the other hand, groups assigned to loans experienced significantly more turnover, suggesting that the possibility of external financing generates powerful selection effects.
Work in Progress
Extension of family policies and early childhood development: The case of Uruguay
Impact of luminosity on perception of safety: Experimental evidence from an urban park in Uruguay (with Carlos Diaz and Nicolas Trajtenberg)
Do brighter street lights reduce crime?: The case of Binghamton, NY (with Carlos Diaz)