Job Market Paper

Send Them Back? The Real Estate Consequences of Repatriations (with Gustavo Cortes)

We examine how the repatriation of Mexican immigrants in the US from 1930 to 1936 affected housing and construction in American cities. Specifically, we study the United States' Mexican repatriation of the 1930s-a negative, large-scale shock to the Mexican workforce in the US-to quantify the impact of mass deportations on real estate outcomes of US cities. Using US Census and hand-collected building permits data, we show that repatriating Mexicans during the Great Depression significantly slowed city growth. Employing instruments that account for the effects of the Depression, we show that cities with higher Mexican outflow experienced lower growth in commercial and residential real estate. We find significant negative effects on the number and value of building permits, as well as house values and rents. Repatriations seem to have a long-lasting impact, leaving a footprint on local economic growth.

Presentations (*by coauthor; poster; scheduled): Economic History Society (PhD Thesis Workshop) | AREUEA (2021 National Meeting, ASSA 2021) | CEA (2021 Annual Meeting) | AEA-ASSA 2020 | UEA (2021 European Meeting, 2020 Annual Meeting) | UPenn (2020 Young Economist Symposium) | PhD-Economics Virtual Seminar | The Economics of Migration Junior Seminar | University of Michigan (2019 H2D2 Research Day) | Midwest Economics Association (2019 Annual Meeting) | AERUS 2019 | UIUC

Refereed Publications

Port Efficiency and Brazilian Exports: A Quantitative Assessment of the Impact of Turnaround Time
The World Economy, 2018, 41, 2528–2551 (with Sérgio Kannebley Júnior)

This paper estimates the impact of vessel turnaround time on Brazilian exports. To achieve this goal, we use a difference gravity equation to explore the time variation in port procedures for 16 Brazilian ports. This paper uses a unique database with local exports, taking into account the port used and products aggregated at the four‐digit Harmonized System (HS) level for the period between 2010 and 2012. The estimation results indicate that, in general, each additional hour of delay in port procedures represents costs to Brazilian exporters, which may lead to loss of competitiveness of domestic products abroad. According to the estimates, each additional relative hour of delay in the average port is equivalent to a reduction in relative local exports of ~2%. Moreover, a 10% relative reduction in vessel turnaround time can increase the proportional number of exported product categories by 1%. Therefore, our findings suggest that turnaround time has a statistically significant effect on the intensive and extensive margins of trade.

[ Published Version ] [Coverage: Revista Brasileira de Comércio Exterior, v. 123, June 2015 ]

Working Papers

Determinants of Bilateral Trade in Manufacturing and Services: A Unified Approach (with Satya Das)

This paper studies the determinants of aggregate bilateral trade in two broad sectors, manufacturing and services. We build a unified theoretical framework that incorporates a demand bias towards services and a difference in the degree of national product differentiation between the two sectors. Demand bias yields larger income elasticities for trade in services compared to trade in manufacturing. Differences in the degree of national product differentiation generate a higher elasticity of bilateral trade in manufactures for the exporting country's economy size than the trade in services. Using our framework, we investigate the importance of virtual proximity and internet infrastructure to international trade in manufactures and services. The results support our unified model's predictions and illustrate that virtual proximity is a strong predictor of aggregate trade in both services and manufacturing. We also find that physical distance is a significant determinant of bilateral trade in manufacturing and services, even while controlling for virtual proximity.

Presentations (*by coauthor; poster; scheduled): Midwest Economics Association (2021 Annual Meeting) | Delhi School of Economics (2020 Econometric Society Winter School) | University of South Florida (Economics Seminar Series)*

International Trade and Wage Inequality: Evidence from Brazil (with Lucas Chagas)

In this paper, we study the consequences of international trade integration on wage inequality. More specifically, we examine the direct and indirect impact of the ''two-sided'' China shock on Brazilian wage inequality. Using a detailed employer-employee database, we find empirical evidence suggesting that export and import exposure creates winners and losers, both between and within sectors. To understand the mechanisms behind this result, we extend the model proposed by Helpman et al. (2017) including firm and sector heterogeneity. Our model provides a reasonable approximation of first and second-order statistics observed in the economy. We then propose two counterfactual scenarios, in which we shut down one "side" of the shock. We show that in the absence of the export shock, wage inequality would be 5 percent higher. The primary mechanism behind this result is the fall in barriers to operating in the external market. The absence of import penetration implies a lower impact on wage variance, but only through re-composition of workers towards the Low-Tech Manufacturing sector, suggesting that import competition's primary effect is to shut down less productive firms. Our findings suggest that international trade integration with China has been an essential contributor to the decrease of wage inequality in Brazil and that this seems to be stemming mainly from the export expansion.

Presentations (*by coauthor; poster; scheduled): Midwest Economics Association (2021 Annual Meeting)

Selected Work in Progress

The Direct and Indirect Effects of Credit Shocks on Exporter and Importer Firms (with Gustavo Cortes and Bernardus Van Doornik)

Invited Publications

Trade Facilitation Indexes: The case of Brazil and its Trade Partners (with Mauricio de Souza and Rosane Faria) Revista de Economia & Relações Internacionais, v. 10, p. 124-141, January 2012.

[ Published Version (in Portuguese) ]