Publications - Working Papers - Work in Progress


The Minimum Wage in Formal and Informal Sectors: Evidence from an Inflation Shock

Published in World Development, 2020

Coverage: HKUST-IEMS , La Silla Vacia

I estimate the effect of the minimum wage on formal and informal wages and employment in Colombia. I exploit an unexpected increase in the real minimum wage during the 1999 Colombian economic crisis to estimate short-term effects of the minimum wage along the wage distribution in both sectors. I find evidence of wage responses, with a stronger incidence in the formal sector.

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Grading Fiscal Policy in Latin America in the Last Decade

Published in IDB Policy Briefs, 2014

Fiscal policy in Latin America has been historically imprudent and continues to be viewed with skepticism. At the same time, most countries have remained out of trouble for several years and were able to successfully conduct proactive countercyclical fiscal policy to fight the Great Recession, a historical first. This paper examines the last decade to assess progress, highlight weaknesses, and chart the way forward.


Working Papers

Disentangling the Effects of Large Minimum Wage and VAT Changes on Prices: Evidence from Mexico (Resubmitted, Labour Economics)



Coverage: Banxico , El CEO , 24 Horas , El Financiero

In January 2019, the minimum wage in the Mexican border with the United States increased by 100 percent. At the same time, the value-added tax (VAT) rate decreased by half. We estimate the effects of the minimum wage and VAT changes on prices. We find that the increase in the minimum wage is associated with economically and statistically significant increases in the prices of VAT goods, and with smaller, imprecisely estimated increases for Non-VAT goods.


City Minimum Wages and Spatial Equilibrium Effects (Submitted)

Listed in SocArXiv

Listed in Banco de Mexico working papers

Winner of the 2018 S4 Graduate Student Paper Prize

Coverage: Marginal Revolution

Local minimum wage laws are becoming common across U.S. cities, and their effects may be different from effects of state or nation-wide minimum wage policies. I study the effect of changes in local minimum wages on spatial equilibria in local labor markets.

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The Spending Responses to Adverse Health Shocks: Evidence from a Panel of Colombian Households

Listed in SocArXiv


We analyze the effect of adverse health shocks on different expenditure shares. We find that households engage in substitution between health expenditures and food expenditures. We also find important heterogeneity in this trade-off between present health and future health mediated by access to social protection, job contract type, and location (urban-rural).

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Better or Worse Job Accessibility? Understanding Changes in Spatial Mismatch at the Intra-urban Level in Medellín



We analyze accessibility to jobs through different transportation modes and the extent of job spatial mismatch at the intra-urban level in a developing country city. We use data from Medellín, Colombia, from 2012 to 2017, to measure accessibility using employment weighted by travel times. We find that despite the continuous investment in public transportation and transport infrastructure, spatial mismatch in Medellín has increased.


Unpacking the MPI : A Decomposition Approach of Changes in Multidimensional Poverty Headcounts

Listed in World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series


Coverage: Vox Lacea

Blog post

Multidimensional measures of poverty have become standard as complementary indicators of poverty in many countries. This paper proposes an application of existing methodologies that decompose welfare aggregates -based on counterfactual simulations- to break up the changes of the multidimensional poverty headcount into the variation attributed to each of its dimensions.

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Work in Progress

The Changing Valuation of Airbnb Amenities in Mexico During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We study how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the valuation of amenities in the prices of Airbnb listings in Mexico, a country with few tourism and mobility restrictions. Using the universe of Airbnb listings in Mexico from 2018 to 2022, we estimate hedonic price models and analyze how hedonic coefficients changed for amenities associated with lower COVID-19 infection risk and reduced face-to-face contact. Our results show that the valuation of remote-work amenities –such as workspaces–, open-space amenities –such as beach fronts–, and reduced-contact amenities –such as private spaces– significantly increased during the pandemic.

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Urban Transit Infrastructure: Spatial Mismatch and Labor Market Power

Coverage: CAF Transport Infrastructure for the Development of Latin America

Does transit infrastructure reduce labor market power? This paper estimates the effects of a large subway expansion on local labor market outcomes in Santiago, Chile. We find changes in work locations and wages consistent with a reduction in firms’ labor market power around areas that were connected to the subway network after the expansion. We then lay out a quantitative spatial equilibrium model where firms behave as oligopsonies in the labor market to calculate the welfare gains from the transit infrastructure expansion.