I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Economics at Stockholm School of Economic, affiliated to the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets. I graduated with a PhD in Economics from the University of Zurich in summer 2023.
I work at the intersection of development and behavioral economics. My research focuses on how social norms influence the functioning of markets. My job market paper examines the ability of monetary incentives to justify breaking harmful norms and its implications for the design of effective incentives. I am also interested in the economics of education and the redistribution effects of early childhood interventions.Download CV
What role do financial incentives play in mitigating harmful peer norms? This paper studies whether financial incentives can be more powerful when they help justify choices that have social image costs among peers. I test this hypothesis in the high-stakes context of road safety in low-income countries. I run multiple experiments with 360 motor taxi drivers in Uganda, offering financial incentives to avoid speeding. First, I provide incentivized evidence that speeding is viewed as admirable among coworkers. In a Demand Experiment, I randomize the visibility of incentives to coworkers and show that (i) drivers are more likely to take up financial incentives when they can be used as justification. In an Impact Experiment, I find that randomly offering visible incentives with justification properties is (ii) twice as effective in promoting compliance with speed regulation relative to private incentives, and (iii) has a positive effect on drivers’ productivity. At least since Coase, economists have considered financial incentives as a tool to reward desirable behavior. This paper illustrates that they can also reduce the social image costs to defy peer norms, achieving the same behavioral change with lower but visible monetary incentives.
Gender segregation in labor markets is a prevalent issue in poor countries, resulting in significant wage gaps and misallocation of talent. Efforts have been made to address this segregation by promoting female labor supply, but the effectiveness of such interventions depends on the level of discrimination faced by women upon entry. Our study tests for gender discrimination within Uganda’s motor mechanics industry, a male-dominated sector characterized by severe asymmetric information problems. Partnering with a vocational training center, we conduct an experiment with garage managers to examine the interplay between bias, skills, and trustworthiness in hiring decisions for trainees. At baseline, women and men have comparable hiring outcomes. Since skills are identical, but women are seen as more trustworthy, this results implies gender discrimination. Improving monitoring induces gender discrimination, revealing the presence of previously hidden discrimination against women. Training interventions improve hiring outcomes for both genders but lead to increased discrimination. While training improves the skills of both genders, it diminishes the comparative advantage that women have in trustworthiness without compensating for it with enhanced skills.
Can public preschool education improve early learning outcomes and narrow socioeconomic gaps in academic performance in developing countries? This paper presents quasi-experimental evidence from an expansion of a national preschool program in Peru on learning outcomes. We exploit within family variation in exposure to preschool due to the gradual expansion of preschools across Peru. We find that having access to a regular preschool improves second grade standardized test scores for reading comprehension and mathematics. Exploring mechanisms, we look at two different preschool modalities rolled out in Peru: regular preschools and community preschools (in which local mothers deliver the service with limited supervision), which are assigned to towns based on the number of preschool-aged students in each town. We exploit discontinuities in this assignment rule through a regression discontinuity design and find some evidence that being assigned to a preschool with a trained teacher and proper infrastructure has a positive impact on student learning for students in towns near the cut-off, which suggests that the quality of the preschool matters. Finally, we find that despite contributions to learning, having access to preschool appears to widen rather than close socioeconomic gaps in early achievement, so that complementary measures targeting the poorest students are necessary for greater educational equity.
This project studies the effect of reducing sales uncertainty on farmers’ earnings and competition among purchasers. We partner with the largest purchaser of vanilla in Uganda in 10 districts. The agribusiness promotes organic farming and fair trade and represents the best buyer for vanilla farmers. Yet, the presence of several middle-men and the uncertainty around the international market usually press farmers into selling their products at a lower price. We collected descriptive evidence that (i) middle-men are systematically purchasing vanilla before the legal date set by the Ugandan government and (ii) farmers sell prior receiving the offers fulfilling the legal requirements.
Data collection core team in Kampala
Reach out to me by email:
Univerisity of Zurich - Department of Economics, office J06, Schönberggasse 1, Zurich, 8001 Switzerland
Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics, office A886, Sveavägen 65, Stockholm, 11350 Sweden