Research

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Working Papers: 

  • The Effectiveness of Air Quality Warnings and Temporary Driving Bans: Evidence from Air Pollution and Urban Transit Flows in Santiago (under review).

Driving restrictions constitute a common governmental strategy to reduce airborne pollution and traffic congestion in many cities of the world. Using high-frequency data on air pollution, car trips, and mass-transit systems ridership, I evaluate the effectiveness of temporary driving bans triggered with air quality warnings in Santiago, Chile. I employ a fuzzy regression discontinuity design that uses the thresholds in the air quality index used to announce these warnings as instruments for their announcement. Results show that these temporary bans reduce car trips by 6-9% during peak hours, and around 7-8% during off-peak hours. This is consistent with air pollution reductions during peak hours, and with increments in the use of Santiago’s mass-transit systems during hours at which the systems run with some capacity. Increments in mass-transit ridership uncover the importance of alternatives modes of transportation in securing the effectiveness of temporary driving bans.

  • Is Mining and Environmental Disamenity? Evidence from Resource Extraction Site Openings (under review).

Extractive industries are often challenged by nearby communities due to the environmental and social impacts of the activity. If proximity to resource extraction sites represents a disamenity to households, the opening of new mines should lead to a decrease in housing prices. Using evidence from more than 6,000 new resource extraction sites in Chile, this study addresses whether the heavy environmental and social impacts of digging activities outweigh their local economic benefits to the housing market in emerging economies. Findings from a spatial difference-in-difference nearest-neighbor matching estimator reveal that households near mining activity get compensated with lower rental prices, mostly in places with high perceptions of exposure to air pollution. Further analysis suggests that this compensation is lower among new residents of mining towns, which constitutes evidence of a taste-based sorting across space. Results in this study bring to light the need of incorporating welfare effects of potential social and environmental disruptions in future studies addressing the economic impact of new mining operations.

 

Work in Progress:

  • Estimating Co-Benefits of Investments in Renewable Energy – Effects on local Air Pollutants and Health Outcomes (with Cristobal Ruiz-Tagle and Beia Spiller)
  • Income Shocks, Voter Turnout, and the Role of Migration (with Alexander James)
  • Rent Protection and Political Corruption: An Analysis of Oil-Rich U.S. States (with Alexander James
  • The U.S. Coal-to-Gas Plant Conversion Process: Evidence from Housing Market Capitalizations (with Scott Loveridge)

Chapters in Books (in Spanish):

  • Project Analysis and the Regional Dimension (with P. Aroca), in Evaluación Social de Proyectos: Orientaciones para su Aplicación. Aguilera, R. (Editor). Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República, Uruguay. 2011. (In Spanish).
  • Copper Mining in the Antofagasta Region (with P. Aroca), in Región de Antofagasta, Pasado, Presente y Futuro. Llagostera, A. (Editor). Ediciones Universitarias, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile. 2010. (In Spanish).
  • Water Resources in a Dry Area (with M. Lufin and M. Hasewaga), in Región de Antofagasta, Pasado, Presente y Futuro. Llagostera, A. (Editor). Ediciones Universitarias, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile. 2010. (In Spanish).
  • La Experiencia del Instituto de Economía Aplicada Regional (IDEAR) de la Universidad Católica del Norte (with E. López), in Centros de pensamiento estratégico territorial: Instrumentos de la gobernanza regional en Chile, Vergara, P. (Editor). Subsecretaría de Desarrollo Regional y Administrativo, Chile. 2010.
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CU Environmental and Resource Economics Workshop. Colorado, 2017 – Photo Credits: Sarah Jacobson