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Publications & Selected Work in Progress

1. How Research Affects Policy: Experimental Evidence from 2,150 Brazilian Municipalities, with Jonas Hjort, Diana Moreira and Gautam Rao

American Economic Review, May 2021 [LINK]

Coverage: DerStandard, El Comercio, Exame, Folha SP I, Folha SP II, Het Financieele, LiveMint, Nexo, Pesquisa

2. Connecting Research Evidence to Municipal Policymakers: Do Impact Evaluations Influence Public Policy? with Diana Moreira

In Public Policies and the Use of Evidence: Concepts, Methods, Contexts, and Practices. Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA), 2022 (in Portuguese) [LINK]

3. Shaping Police Officer Mindsets and Behaviors: Experimental Evidence from a Procedural Justice Training, with Rodrigo Canales, Alexis Cherem and Marina Gonzalez

Management Science, conditionally accepted (2024)

Research on organizational justice shows that perceptions of justice by internal and external agents are robust predictors of key organizational outcomes. But how can we promote the enactment of fair behavior by those with decision-making authority within organizations? This is particularly important for complex situations, where individual discretion is required and "necessary evils" are unavoidable. Few organizations face this challenge as intensely as police forces, where misconduct and bad decisions by their street-level bureaucrats can have large negative consequences. This paper treats justice as a dependent variable to investigate whether police officers can incorporate procedurally just perceptions and behaviors in their policing. We provide evidence from a randomized controlled trial with 1,854 Mexico City police officers that procedural justice training significantly changes perceptions and actual behavior in the streets (e.g. decreasing the likelihood of engaging in negative behavior with citizens). We find treatment effects in the range of 0.4 standard deviations for perceptions and 0.2 for behavior. Our research yields insights into critical moderators to consider in organizational training programs, including managerial alignment with the objectives of the training and consideration of employees’ views toward their clients and work environment.

4. Revenue Slumps and Fiscal Capacity: Evidence from Brazil, with Claudio Ferraz and Dirk Foremny [NBER Working Paper 32440]

Under Review 

This paper investigates how non-tax revenues impact tax collection in Brazilian municipalities, focusing on shifts in intergovernmental transfers due to population updates. Our analysis reveals asymmetric effects of shocks: revenue gains lead to increased spending without tax reductions, while losses in transfers prompt investments in fiscal capacity and boost tax revenues. Enhancing fiscal capacity entails adjusting tax bureaucrat payments, improving property registries, and cracking down on delinquency, with heterogeneous responses based on political competition and the educational levels of local leaders and the bureaucracy. These findings emphasize the importance of rules that reduce the reliance on non-tax revenues and promote effective tax collection.

5. A Field Experiment on Door-to-Door Nonenforcement Community Policing Visits: Trust and Cooperation, with Rodrigo Canales and Jessica Zarkin (2022) [AEA RCT Registry]

6. Knowledge-Based Hierarchies and the Organization of the State: Evidence from Brazilian Municipalities, with Claudio Ferraz (2019)

Projects at Initial Stages

1. Thinking Twice: Does Psychotherapy Influence Police Officer Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Mexico City Police, with Rodrigo Canales and Emma Seppala

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