Working Papers

  • The Effects of Trade-Induced Worker Displacement on Health and Mortality in Mexico (Job Market Paper)

Abstract: Recent research in the U.S. links trade-induced job displacement to deaths of despair. Should we expect the same mortality response in developing countries? This paper analyzes the effect of a trade-induced negative shock to manufacturing employment on leading causes of mortality in Mexico between 1998 and 2013. I exploit cross-municipality variation in trade exposure based on differences in industry specialization before China's accession to the WTO in 2001 to instrument for changes in local manufacturing employment. I find trade-induced job loss increased mortality from diabetes, raised obesity rates, reduced physical activity, and lowered access to health insurance. These deaths were offset by declines in mortality from alcohol-related liver disease and ischemic heart disease. These findings highlight that negative employment shocks have heterogeneous impacts on mortality in developing countries, where falling incomes lead to less access to health care and nutritious food, but also reduce alcohol and tobacco use.

  • Exports, Quality, and Product Differentiation: Evidence from Argentine Manufacturing Firms

Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between quality adoption, product differentiation, and export performance. Through tax identification numbers, I match firm-level survey data to administrative customs records containing information about each firm’s total value of exports by product type and country of destination. I classify products into differentiated and non-differentiated, and I use ISO 9001 certification as proxy for firms' ability to produce high quality products. First, I show that firm-product-destination-year unit values are higher for high-quality firms on average. Second, using the 2002 Argentine exchange rate devaluation as a source of variation in export demand, I find that initially high-quality firms increased total export value, export value of differentiated goods to high-income destinations, and investments in R&D more than low-quality firms after the devaluation. These results imply that policies promoting quality adoption may increase firms’ exports to high-income markets and help develop a comparative advantage in differentiated products.

Work in Progress

  • The Effect of Job Displacement on Parenting (with Elizabeth Powers and Eunhye Kwak)
  • Infant Formula Availability, Breastfeeding Duration, and Women’s Labor Force Participation (with Rebecca Thornton and Mark Borgschulte)
  • Trade-induced Worker Displacement and Differential Population Adjustments: Implications for Mortality Rate Calculations