Work in Progress

  • The Real Estate Consequences of Immigration Shocks: Evidence from the United States’ Mexican Repatriation, with Gustavo Cortes. Version coming soon!

    Abstract: How do extreme immigration shocks affect local economies? We analyze the United States' Mexican Repatriation of 1930--36 and its impact on housing and construction activity in US cities. Using the full-count US Census and hand-collected building permits data, we show that repatriating Mexicans during the Great Depression significantly slowed down city growth. Employing an instrumental variable approach that accounts for the endogenous business cycle effects of the Depression, we show that cities with higher Mexican outflow experienced lower growth in commercial and residential real estate activity. Specifically, we find negative and significant effects of the Mexican Repatriation on the number and value of building permits, as well as median house value. We find no effects in placebo analyses that consider the instrumented outflow of Canadian workers in the same period, confirming historical newspaper evidence that Mexican workers experienced harassment and greater pressure to leave the US during the Depression. Our results suggest that repatriations have long-lasting impacts on cultural and social dimensions, but also leave footprints on local economic growth.

    Presentations: AEA 2020 Annual Meeting (Poster Session) | University of Michigan's H2D2 Seminar Series | Midwest Economics Association | AERUS 2019 | UIUC

  • International Trade in Manufacturing and Services and the Gravity Model, with Satya P. Das. Version coming soon!

    Abstract: This paper derives gravity equations for bilateral trade in aggregate manufacturing and aggregate services when preferences are non-homothetic, and there is a difference in the degree of national product differentiation between the two product groups. Non-homotheticity implies two "non-standard" determinants of bilateral trade: per-capita income and income inequality in the importing country. In estimating gravity equations, we include two non-standard trade-cost variables, namely, internet penetration and a measure of virtual proximity (the number of bilateral hyperlinks). Our results support the theoretical predictions and reveal that virtual proximity is a strong predictor of aggregate trade in both services and manufactures. It diminishes the effect of physical distance, language difference, as well as income variables.

Refereed Publications

  • Port Efficiency and Brazilian Exports: a Quantitative Assessment of the Impact of Turnaround Time, with Sérgio Kannebley Júnior. The World Economy, April 2018. [ DOI Link ]

    Abstract: 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 international trade.

    Recipient of the Brazilian Ministry of the Economy Award (2015).

Invited Publications