Ongoing Research

The Formation of Aspirations

This is a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Senegal, sponsored by the World Bank, in which we are whether individuals stated aspirations are meaningful and can serve as a benchmark for improving survey questions on aspirations. The experiment took place on September 2018. The registry number is: AEARCTR-0003336 .

With Garance Genicot, Jeffrey Flory and Arndt Reichert.

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 Pierre Englebert. 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:

Violence and Prosperity in Mexico

In this project, developed for my dissertation, I explore the effects of drug-related violence in Mexico on the welfare of the population and the role that the strength of the state plays to shield the population from the violence.

Latest draft: Draft_May-2019

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 Pierangelo De Pace)

Other Publications

  • 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.

Other 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