Working Papers

Tax Bunching at the Kink in the Presence of Low Capacity of Enforcement: Evidence From Uruguay
(with Gabriel Burdin, Mauricio De Rosa, Martín Leites, and Matias GiaccobassoReject and Resubmit, The Economic Journal (Resubmitted)
Based on detailed administrative tax records, we implement a bunching design to explore how individual taxpayers respond to personal income taxation in Uruguay. We estimate a very modest elasticity of taxable income at the first kink point (0.06) driven by a combination of gross labor income and deductions responses. Taxpayers use personal deductions more intensively close to the kink point and underreport income to the tax authority. Our results suggest that the efficiency costs of taxation are not necessarily large in contexts characterized by limited deduction opportunities. 
(1) SSRN WP (2) IZA WP 

Tax Audits as Scarecrows: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment 
(with Rodrigo Ceni, Guillermo Cruces, Matias Giaccobasso and Ricardo Perez-TrugliaSubmitted
The canonical model of Allingham and Sandmo (1972) predicts that firms evade taxes by optimally trading off between the costs and benefits of evasion. However, there is no direct evidence that firms react to audits in this way. We conducted a large-scale field experiment in collaboration with Uruguay’s tax authority to address this question.
(1) SSRN WP (2) NBER WP (3) VoxDev

Low-skilled workers and the effects of minimum wage in a developing country: Evidence based on a density-discontinuity approach  
(with Sharon Katzkowicz, Gabriel Pedetti and Martina Querejeta) - Resubmitted, World Development
Objective: We present new evidence on the impact of minimum wage policy on a low-skilled worker unregulated sector - the domestic-work sector in Uruguay- on wages, employment, and formal-informal sector mobility for women.

Publications & Forthcoming Papers

The Anatomy of Behavioral Responses to Social Assistance When Informal Employment is High 
(with Guillermo Cruces) - Accepted (2020)Journal of Public Economics
Research questions: How do the effects of social assistance vary across the distribution of individuals’ propensities to be employed formally?; Along which behavioral margins do they respond the most? Informality or real non-participation?; What is the size of the responses relative to the financial incentives? ; What are the efficiency implications from the observed behavioral responses in registered employment?
(1) SSRN WP ((2) IZA WP 
(Part of this work circulated previously as "Work incentives and Welfare Programs. Evidence on Real and Reporting Effects")

(with Belal Fallah, Iman Saadeh, Arwa Abu Hashhash and Mohamad Hattawy)Journal of Development Studies forthcoming (2020)
Research question: To what extent demand-side factors affect the labor supply patterns of women in developing countries? We use the occupied West Bank of Palestine as a case of study to answer this question. 

(with Rodrigo Ceni, Guillermo Cruces, Matias Giaccobasso and Ricardo Perez-Truglia)American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings 108(May 2018), 83-87, 2018
Objective: Evidence shows that firms have large misperceptions about audit features. In this paper, we explore the sources of these misperceptions using a survey-experiment. 

(with Estefanía Galván), World Development 103(March 2018), 100-118, 2018
Research question: How Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) programs in developing countries affect intra-household socio-economic outcomes?
(1) IZA WP 

(with Marjan Petreski and Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski)Eastern European Economics 55(2), 168-196, 2017
Objectives: first, to investigate the determinants of the duration of unemployment spell of youth in a developing context; and second, to assess how the unemployment spell duration affects later employment (the employment ‘scarring’ effect) and wage outcomes (the wage ‘scarring’ effect). 
(1) IZA WP 

Work and tax evasion incentive effects of social insurance programs. Evidence from an employment-based benefit extension
(with Guillermo Cruces), Journal of Public Economics 117, 211-228, 2014  
Research question: How social insurance programs shape individual's incentives to take up registered employment and to report earnings to the tax authorities?
(1) IZA WP (2) FOCO (3) VOX,  slides (3) data (3) prensa

Las Transferencias Públicas y su Impacto Distributivo: La Experiencia de los Países del Cono Sur en la Década de 2000
(with Javier Alejo and Fedora Carbajal), El Trimestre Económico 81(1), 163-198, 2014
Research question: To what extent do monetary public transfers to households affect income inequality of the Southern Cone countries in the 2000s?
(1) CEDLAS WP (2) VOX 

Informality, Contributory and Non Contributory Programmes. Recent Reforms to the Social Protection System in Uruguay
(with Guillermo Cruces), Development Policy Review 31(5), 531-551, 2013
Research question: What are the incentive effects for formal and informal employment from social-protection reforms implemented in Uruguay in the 1990s and 2000s?
(1) FOCO (2) wp,slides (3) data (3) prensa

Robustness of Vulnerability Estimators. Evidence from Panel Data for Argentina and Chile
(with Guillermo Cruces and Andrés Ham), Journal of Income Distribution 21(1), 28-64, 2012  
Research question: What is the effectiveness - i.e. the predictive power, of vulnerability indicators to forecast future poverty states? 
(1) WP
Exploring the urban-rural labor income gap in Uruguay: a quantile regression decomposition
(with Fedora Carbajal), Economic Analysis Review 25(2): Special Issue: Inequality and income mobility in Latinamerica, 133-168, 2010 
Research question: To what extent do differences in workers characteristics and returns to work explain the urban-rural labor income gap in Uruguay?

Selected Work in Progress

Social Preferences and Tax Compliance  
(with Martín LeitesRicardo Perez-Truglia, and Matias Strhel

Labor Income Responses of Top Incomes to Tax Changes: Evidence from a Tax Reform in Uruguay  
(with Gabriel Burdin, Mauricio De Rosa, Matias Giaccobasso, and Martín Leites)

Social Preferences for Redistribution: A Survey-Experiment Study with Taxpayers 
(with Gabriel Burdin, Mauricio De Rosa, Matias Giaccobasso, and Martín Leites)

Unpublished Manuscripts

Are there ethnic inequality traps in education? Empirical evidence from Brazil and Chile
(with Adriana Conconi, Guillermo Cruces and Andrés Ham) PMMA Working Paper 2012-04, 2012

Privaciones nutricionales: su vínculo con la pobreza y el ingreso monetario
(with Martín Leites and Gonzalo Salas)Serie Documentos de Trabajo # 03/06, 2006