PhD Candidate, London School of Economics
I am an applied microeconomist and my research sits at the intersection of Development, Health and Public Economics. I use applied econometrics and field experiments to understand the principles underlying effective public service delivery. I am also a Research Officer at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), having held this post since 2017.
Job market paper and work in progress
Can White Elephants Kill?
The Unintended Consequences of Infrastructure Development in Peru
Public infrastructure development is prone to inefficiencies that can result in poor-quality implementation, but the consequences are unclear. This paper studies the effect on infant and under-five mortality of a nation-wide expansion of sewerage infrastructure, conducted by the Government of Peru between 2005 and 2015. I use novel administrative panel data at the district level and exploit random geography-driven variation in project allocation to instrument for sewerage diffusion. I document an increase in under-five mortality in districts that experienced greater sewerage diffusion. The result is linked to hazards from the construction works and was exacerbated by delays and mid-construction abandonment. The potential health benefits of sewerage fail to manifest even after completion of projects due to lack of household connectivity.
Runner up for Best JMP - RES Junior Symposium
Improving Infrastructure in Informal Settlements: Experimental Evidence from India
(with A. Armand and B. Augsburg)
We explore the role of supply-side imperfections and information asymmetries in preventing the adoption of shared sanitation infrastructure and influencing the prevalence of unsafe behaviour. We implement a cluster-randomized experiment in 110 slums in Uttar Pradesh, India. Community Toilets (CTs) and their catchment areas are randomly allocated to a supply-side intervention, either on its own or combined with information provision. The supply-side intervention consists on an initial grant to improve quality, followed by a financial reward scheme to incentivize CT caretakers to sustain quality improvements. We collect data from both slum dwellers and CT caretakers’ behaviour using a wide range of methods, including surveys, observational data and behavioural measurements. Specifically, I use lab-in-the-field experiments and incentive-compatible methods to elicit willingness-to-pay (WTP) and community demand.
Sustainability of Sanitation Behaviour: Evidence from rural Pakistan (with B. Augsburg)
Slippage back to unsafe behaviour explains why sanitation interventions may not achieve sustained improvements in public health. We rely on a cluster-randomized experiment in rural Pakistan to evaluate the effectiveness of follow-up visits after a community total-led (CTLs) sanitation campaign. We find that reminders are effective at sustaining safe behavior in areas in which the sanitation infrastructure is prone to becoming obsolete.
Effectiveness of Community Health Teams: Evidence from El Salvador
(with P. Bernal, P. Celhay and S. Martinez)
Access to high-quality preventive health care can deter mortality. Community health teams have emerged as an alternative to deficient formal health care provision in low- and middle-income countries, but the evidence on their effectiveness is inconclusive. Using quasi-experimental techniques and a fine-grain panel dataset of health records, we evaluate the effectiveness of a nation-wide reform in El Salvador that mobilized communities to access preventive healthcare. We find that the reform improved preventive behavior and reduced hospitalizations and deaths caused by diseases amenable to health access and quality.
LSE Teaching Excellence Award 2019