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Contact: caroartc@ucla.edu

Follow me on twitter: @caroartc

 

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at UCLA. I am on the market in 2018/19 and will be available for interviews at the ASSA meetings in Atlanta. My fields are Labor, Education and Crime.

 

The Cost of Bad Parents: Evidence from Incarceration on Children's Education (JMP)

This paper provides evidence that parental incarceration increases children's educational attainment. I collect criminal records for 100,000 convicted poor parents in Colombia and combine it with administrative data on the educational attainment of their children. To overcome endogeneity concerns in incarceration I use the random assignment of defendants to judges who differ in their stringency to convict and send defendants to prison. I write down an econometric model that features three treatment assignments defined along two margins of selection, and provide a new identification results. I find that conditional on conviction, parental incarceration increases years of education by 0.8 years for the children whose parents were on the margin of incarceration.   (Link)

Publications

The Effect of Human Capital on Earnings: Evidence from a Reform in Colombia’s top University (2018) Journal of Public Economics. Vol 157, January. pp 212-225

In this paper I test whether the return to college education is the result of human capital accumulation or instead reflects the fact that attending college signals higher ability to employers. I exploit a reform at Universidad de Los Andes, which in 2006 reduced the amount of coursework required to earn degrees in economics and business by 20% and 14%, respectively, but did not change the quality of incoming or graduating students. The size of the entering class, their average high school exit exam scores, and graduation rates were not affected by the reform, indicating that selection of students into the degrees remained the same. Using administrative data on wages and college attendance, I estimate that wages fell by approximately 16% in economics and 13% in business. These results suggest that human capital plays an important role in the determination of wages and reject a pure signaling model. Surveying employers, I find that the reduction in wages may have resulted from a decline in performance during the recruitment process, which led students to be placed in lower-quality firms. Using data from the recruitment process for economists at the Central Bank of Colombia, I find that the reform reduced the probability of Los Andes graduates' being hired by 17 percentage points.

    Mention in the news: Bloomberg Opinion, by Noah Smith

     

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