Published Articles 

This paper analyzed quarterly longitudinal data for 64,800 1 × 1 degree grids during 2000–2019 on sea surface temperatures, sea ice concentrations, and ocean surface current zonal and meridional velocities in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The methodological framework addressed the processing of remote sensing signals, interdependence between sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations, and combining zonal and meridional velocities as the eddy kinetic energy. Dynamic and static random effects models were estimated by maximum likelihood and stepwise methods, respectively, taking into account the unobserved heterogeneity across grids. The main findings were that quarterly sea surface temperatures increased steadily in the Northern hemisphere, whereas cyclical patterns were apparent in Southern hemisphere; sea ice concentrations declined in both hemispheres. Second, sea surface temperatures were estimated with large negative coefficients in the models for sea ice concentrations for the hemispheres; previous sea ice concentrations were negatively associated with sea surface temperatures, indicating feedback loops. Third, sea surface temperatures were positively and significantly associated with eddy kinetic energy in Northern hemisphere. Overall, the results indicated the importance of reducing sea surface temperatures via reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the dumping of pollutants into oceans for maintaining sea ice concentrations and enhancing global sustainability.

The paper presents the development and implementation of a geo-spatial model for mapping populations’ access to specified types of water and sanitation services in Nigeria. The analysis uses geo-referenced, population-representative data from the National Water and Sanitation Survey 2015, along with relevant geo-spatial covariates. The model generates predictions for levels of access to seven indicators of water and sanitation services across Nigeria at a resolution of 1 × 1 km2. Overall, the findings suggest a sharp urban–rural divide in terms of access to improved water, basic water, and improved water on premises, a low availability of piped water on premises and of sewerage systems throughout the country, a high concentration of improved sanitation in select states, and low rates of nationwide open defecation, with a few pockets of high rates of open defecation in the central and southern non-coastal regions. Predictions promise to hone the targeting of policies meant to improve access to basic services in various regions of the country.

“Sanitation and Externalities: Evidence from Early Childhood Health in Rural India” (with L. Andres, B. Briceño and C. Chase). 2017. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2017.143

This paper estimates two sources of benefits related to sanitation infrastructure access: a direct benefit households receive when they have access to sanitation infrastructure, and an external benefit produced by the neighborhood's access to sanitation infrastructure. Using a sample of children under age four from rural areas of India in the Third Round of District Level Household Survey 2007–08, the study demonstrates evidence of positive direct benefits and a concave positive externality for improved sanitation and fixed-point defecation. The paper finds that a child who moves from a household without improved sanitation and a low ratio of village access to a household with improved sanitation and a high ratio of village access enjoys a reduction in diarrhea prevalence of 47 percent. From this, one-fourth of this benefit is due to the direct benefit, leaving the rest to external gains. These results hold under several robustness checks.

Working Papers and Work in Progress

Comprehensive Early Childhood Development Support Systems and Academic Achievement: The Case of Chile Crece Contigo'' 

This paper studies the effects of a comprehensive early childhood support system on human capital accumulation. Specifically, we explore differences in educational achievement of the first generations of children exposed to the comprehensive child development support system ”Chile Crece Contigo.” To study this, we exploit the gradual implementation of the policy and the age eligibility requirements to estimate the returns of availability of the policy on data from seven cohorts (2012-2018) of fourth-grade students in Chile. We find sizable positive effects in mathematics (0.21 of a standard deviation) and language (0.23 of a standard deviation) test scores for children in municipalities that started the program during or before their prenatal stage compared to children that the program began when they were older than sixty months. Estimates from an event-study design show that the exposure returns dissipated for children thirty-six months old or older when the policy started. This result is consistent with the schedule of interventions and early detection instruments established. When we look at the difference in the returns to exposure across gender and socioeconomic status, we find evidence that (i) comprehensive child support system has higher returns on boys, which could be explained partially by differences in access to need-based services, (ii) these differences across gender differences occur in children with higher levels of exposure, and (iii) we do not find relevant differences between students classified as low-socioeconomic background and not classified in this category. Keywords: Chile Crece Contigo, long-term return, early childhood interventions.

"Closing the Gap: The Effects of Need-Based Services on Early Childhood Development'' 

''The Role of School Closures and Reopening on Children's Mental Health'' (with Amy Ellen Schwartz and B. Elbel) 

Supply Pricing Responses to Sugar-Sweet Beverage Taxes at a Large National Fast-Food Chain" (with B. Elbel, H. Wu, S. Desai, P. Rummo, T. Mijanovich, M. Bragg, and B. Weitzman) Draft upon Request 

Over one-third of adults consume fast food daily, including sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) that contain more than the recommended daily allowance of calories from added sugars in just one serving. Taxes on sweetened beverages are a promising solution to reduce the consumption of these beverages and their potential contribution to obesity. However, policies must satisfy two conditions to affect the demand for these products. Firstly, the tax must be passed on from producers to consumers through higher prices. Secondly, the demand for these items should be less than perfectly inelastic. This paper focuses on the first condition, examining the pass-through of taxes on sweetened beverages in fast-food beverage prices in five US localities that implemented taxes between 2017-2018. The study leverages detailed national purchase data from Taco Bell locations between 2015 and 2020. Using an event-study design combined with a synthetic control counterfactual, we tested for price changes per ounce of single-served beverages and beverages bundles with menu items. The results showed that the amount of tax passed through to consumers varied by locality during the first two years post-tax. We find evidence of a complete pass-through on single-served beverages in cities taxing sugar and artificially sweetened beverages (Philadelphia, PA, and Cook County, IL). Conversely, we find no significant price changes in locations that taxed only sugar-sweetened beverages (Seattle, WA, Albany, CA, and Oakland, CA). The restaurant responses remained consistent into the second year post-tax in the four locations that retained the tax. These findings underscore the significance of tax design.

''Trends in Emergency Department Visits Related to Mental Health Diagnosis: Evidence for NYC School Children between 2016-2022'' (with Amy Ellen Schwartz, Kevin Konty, Sophia Day, and B. Elbel) 

''Preventing Suicide in Schools: Strategies and Barriers to Effectively Supporting Youth'' (with Anna Strassmann Mueller, Kim Bryan, and Coady Wing) 

''Food Labelling Policies and Children's Nutrition'' (with Agustina Laurito) 

Other Articles