Ongoing Research

Decentralization and Découpage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Two-year grant from ODI/ SLRC in the U.K. that started in 2017 and that is led by Dr. Pierre Englebert (Link Dr. Englebert Website). This research project looks that at the effects that a shock, such as découpage, has on the development of state capacity and the improvement of livelihoods in the DRC.


Working papers:

  • Ingrained state or a state in grains? The construction of sub-national capacity in Congo
  • Estimation des Distributions Ethniques et Populations Originaires par Nouvelle Province. (With Pierre Englebert)

Social Programs and Drug Production in Mexico

In this project, developed for my dissertation, I am exploring what are the colateral effects of Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program, Prospera, on drug production. Particularly, I am exploring what is the opportunity cost of having more cash on the decision to produce legal or illegal crops.

Structure of the Tails of Commodity Returns

This project looks at the distribution of commodity returns economic expansions and recessions. Using bootstrapping techniques, it elucidates whether the right or left tail is fatter and whether tails are fatter during expansions or during recession periods. (With Dr. Pierangelo De Pace)

The Formation of Aspirations

This is a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Senegal, sponsored by the World Bank, in which we are exploring how aspirations are formed. This study will elucidate how to increase the uptake of future interventions. (Dr. Jeffrey Flory and Dr. Arndt Reichert).


  • A. Bezares, Yi Feng, Z. Gao (2016), ”A Comparative Study of U.S. and China’s Trade in Latin America”, The Quarterly of Latin American Economy and Trade , Vol. 27, pp.4-18.

Working Papers

  • “NAFTA’s Opportunities: Economic Openness, Political Competition, and the Development of Bureaucratic Capacity in Mexico’s States”; (with Melissa Rogers); 2016.
  • “Volatility in Commodity Prices and its Effects on Poverty and Inequality in Latin America,”; presented in the International Seminar Challenges to the State: New Political and Economic Actors in Latin America , Santiago, Chile, Mar 2015.

Policy Briefings