Graduate School of Business
3022 Broadway, Uris Hall 622
New York, NY 10027
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Columbia University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2019||How Research Affects Policy: Experimental Evidence from 2,150 Brazilian Municipalities|
with Diana Moreira, Gautam Rao, Juan Francisco Santini: w25941
This paper investigates if research findings change political leaders’ beliefs and cause policy change. Collaborating with the National Confederation of Municipalities in Brazil, we work with 2,150 municipalities and the mayors who control their policies. We use experiments to measure mayors’ demand for research information and their response to learning research findings. In one experiment, we find that mayors and other municipal officials are willing to pay to learn the results of impact evaluations, and update their beliefs when informed of the findings. They value larger-sample studies more, while not distinguishing on average between studies conducted in rich and poor countries. In a second experiment, we find that informing mayors about research on a simple and effective policy (remi...
|October 2017||Vertical Integration, Supplier Behavior, and Quality Upgrading among Exporters|
with Christopher Hansman, Gianmarco León, Matthieu Teachout: w23949
We study the relationship between firms’ output quality and their choice of organizational structure. To do so, we use data on each step of the production and transaction chain that makes up Peruvian fishmeal manufacturing. We first show that quality upgrading is an important motive for vertically integrating. Firms integrate suppliers when the quality premium—the relative price of high quality output—rises for exogenous reasons, but not when average or low quality prices rise. The greater a firm’s scope for shifting low to high quality production, the greater its integration response. We then show that integration changes suppliers’ production behavior. A given supplier’s actions are less geared towards increasing quantity and more geared towards maintaining input quality after the suppli...
|July 2017||The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa|
with Jonas Poulsen: w23582
To show how fast Internet affects employment in Africa, we exploit the gradual arrival of submarine Internet cables on the coast and maps of the terrestrial cable network. Robust difference-in-differences estimates from three datasets covering 12 countries show large positive effects on employment rates—also for less educated worker groups—with little or no job displacement across space. The sample-wide impact is driven by increased employment in higher-skill occupations, but less educated workers’ employment gain less so. Firm level data available for some countries indicate that increased firm entry, productivity, and exporting contribute to higher net job-creation. Average incomes rise.
Published: Jonas Hjort & Jonas Poulsen, 2019. "The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa," American Economic Review, vol 109(3), pages 1032-1079.
|April 2017||Individuals and Organizations as Sources of State Effectiveness|
with Michael Carlos Best, David Szakonyi: w23350
Policymakers do not implement states’ policies—bureaucrats do. How important are bureaucrats in determining the productivity of the state enterprise? To what extent do the tradeoffs between different policies—and hence optimal policy design—depend on the effectiveness of the bureaucracy tasked with implementation? We investigate these questions in the context of public procurement. Using data on 16 million purchases in Russia during 2011–2016, we first show that over 40 percent of the variation in quality-adjusted prices paid—our measure of performance—is due to the individual bureaucrats and organizations that manage procurement processes. Our estimates imply that ineffective bureaucracies massively reduce public sector output: moving the least effective quartile of procurers to 75th perc...