Awarded George Borts’ Prize in recognition of an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Economics. Brown University.
Students may put insufficient effort into graduating due to inaccurate beliefs about graduation probabilities or the economic benefits of obtaining a high school diploma, missing out on large economic returns. In an experiment with senior high-school students in Argentina, I test the effectiveness of providing information about efficiently allocating effort during senior year, to correct beliefs about their graduation chances. A separate group receives information about the returns to education. The treatments increase graduation by 10 and 20 percent, respectively, and college enrollment by 38 percent. Graduation improvements are larger for students with a lower probability of graduating at baseline.
Coverage: Development Impact World Bank Blog
Information Gaps, Misallocation, and Patient Satisfaction: Experimental Evidence from Malaria Care with Anja Sautmann and Simone Schaner (draft coming soon)
Can basic training on the value of diagnostic tests improve provider practice and help patients recognize higher quality of care? We experimentally study these questions in the context of malaria testing and treatment in Mali. A first intervention randomly assigned clinics to receive training about the accuracy of rapid diagnostic tests; a second, cross-cut intervention gave patients information about the tests. The clinic training shifts provider beliefs and increases reliance on the tests, which improves the match between a patient's malaria status and receipt of antimalarials by 14-24 percent. Nonetheless, patients are significantly less satisfied with care received, driven by those whose prior beliefs do not match their true malaria status. Moreover, the patient information intervention does not affect treatment outcomes or patient satisfaction but does reduce malaria testing. These findings suggest that patients hold persistent beliefs about their own illnesses that limit their ability to recognize improved quality of care.
The Economic Outcomes of Native Groups in Argentina with Pedro Dal Bó (draft coming soon)
"Exacerbated Inequalities: the Learning Loss from COVID-19 in Italy" with Michela Carlana and Eliana La Ferrara, AEA Papers and Proceedings, vol. 113, pp. 489-493 (2023).
“Does Patient Demand Contribute to the Overuse of Prescription Drugs?” with Anja Sautmann and Simone Schaner, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol. 14, number 1, pp. 225–260 (2022).
“Long-run effects of youth training programs: Experimental evidence from Argentina” with María Laura Alzúa and Guillermo Cruces, Economic Inquiry, vol. 54, issue 4, pp. 1839–1859 (2016).
“Effect of a community-led sanitation intervention on child diarrhoea and child growth in rural Mali: A cluster randomised controlled trial” with Amy Pickering, Habiba Djebbari, Massa Coulibaly, and Maria Laura Alzua, The Lancet Global Health, vol. 3, number 11, pp. 701–711 (2015).
“The long and winding road towards fiscal decentralization” with María Laura Alzúa, Económica-Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. LX, pp. 3-43 (2014).
“A Multidimensional Poverty Analysis: Recent Evidence of the Regions of Argentina” with Romina Safojan, Revista de Economía Política de Buenos Aires - Universidad de Buenos Aires (REPBA), 7, vol. 12, pp. 9-44 (2013).
Work in Progress
Experimental evidence on data-driven remedial instruction in the Dominican Republic with Astrid Pineda
Learning losses due to COVID-19 have been substantial, especially for students coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds, further worsening existing learning deficits in many developing countries. To address these losses, the use of tutoring and computer-assisted instruction holds promise for accelerating learning recovery. However, there is limited knowledge on how education systems can effectively implement these approaches at scale. Computer adaptive learning (CAL) softwares are particularly noteworthy for their ability to cater to students' individual learning levels. However, most evidence on CAL is based on after-school settings and primary-school-aged children, making it challenging to extrapolate to older students or in-school settings. Tutoring, while effective, faces scalability challenges due to cost and availability of qualified tutors. In this proof-of-concept phase, we aim to evaluate an in-school intervention combining CAL with group tutoring as a potentially more scalable alternative to accelerate learning recovery among teenagers. Moreover, we aim to generate evidence on whether using CAL-generated data for targeted tutoring and teacher support can lead to better student outcomes. We plan to use in-depth data, including on teaching practices and teachers’ time use, to investigate the underlying mechanisms behind the observed changes.
Self- vs. social-image concerns: evidence from teenagers in Salta, Argentina
Our research speaks to the problem of low high-school graduation rates in developing countries. To study this question, we analyze the impact of an intervention in the province of Salta, Argentina. The policy took place in one school that did not allow students who do not pass all subjects by the end of the academic year to participate in the graduation ceremony (traditionally, students are allowed to participate even if they do not have a passing grade in all subjects). Since the program started in 2015 the graduation rate increased by 14 p.p., a result that the school authorities attribute to the success of the program.
State: Administrative data collection finished
Shifts and high-school graduation with Natalia Cantet, Santiago Hermo, and Juan Pedro Ronconi
We study the effects of randomization of school shifts (morning or afternoon) at the beginning of secondary school on academic achievement and behavior. Evidence on this question is mixed, with some papers suggesting that later shifts benefit from improved sleeping, whereas others emphasizing that later shifts induce risky behavior in the students earlier in life, harming academic achievement. We will analyze the entire trajectory of these students while in high school to determine the impact of school shift at each age. We will evaluate the role of peers and parents in those outcomes.
State: Administrative data collection finished