HOME                                                                       PRE DOCTORAL RESEARCH                                                 PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Current Position: Research Economist at the Research Department at the Inter-American Development Bank

I use applied econometrics methods combined with different sources of large administrative databases to address important questions in public policy. My research interests are Program Evaluation, Economics of Crime and Education, Labor Economics, and Social Policy that impact poverty and social inequality in general.

You can download my CV here.

Contact Info

Name:         Patricio Domínguez

Address:      1300 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20577

Phone:         +1 (510) - 590 - 1896


Current Research   

"Immigration, Crime, and Crime (Mis)Perceptions" (with Nicolás Ajzenman and Raimundo Undurraga)

[New] IZA DP No. 14087

        Does immigration affect crime or beliefs about crime? We answer this question in the context of Chile, where the foreign-born population almost tripled in five years. To identify a causal effect, we use two strategies: a two-way fixed effects model at the municipality level and a 2SLS model, which is based on immigration toward destination countries other than Chile. First, we show that immigration increases concerns about crime and public security. We then document a substantial effect on behavioral responses such as investing in home-security or adopting coordinated anti-crime measures with neighbors. Finally, we show that these concerns about crime seem ungrounded as we fail to find any significant effect on victimization. When exploring potential channels, we find suggestive evidence of the effect being driven by municipalities with a larger number of local radio stations per capita. We also find that the effect seems to be larger when the composition of immigrants is relatively low-skilled. Finally, using an index of bilateral ethnic distance to measure ethnic-related intergroup threat, we show that the genetic distance between Chileans and the nationality of immigrants does not drive any effects.

"Where are the missing emergencies? Lockdown and healthrisk during the pandemic" (with Jorge Ale-Chilet and Juan Pablo Atal)

PIER Working Paper No. 20-016

We examine the effects of social and economic activity on emergency room utilization. During the COVID-19 pandemic emergency non-respiratory visits decreased dramatically worldwide. Using daily data of all public healthcare facilities in Chile and novel mobility data we show that the crisis-induced changes in mobility patterns explain a large portion of the 50 percent drop in non-respiratory emergency room visits in the country. Moreover, we find no corresponding increase in mortality. These results suggest that mobility restrictions crisis may have the unexpected benefit for public health of freeing up healthcare resources.

"Long-Term Gains from Longer School Days" (with Krista Ruffini) [Revise and resubmit at Journal of Human Resources]

Presented at the Berkeley Econ Development Lunch, Berkeley GSPP Seminar and the 2018 Association for Educational Finance Policy Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon

IRLE Berkeley Working paper #103-18

This paper examines whether additional time in school affects labor market outcomes and educational attainment in adulthood. We leverage within and across city and cohort variation covering a large-scale reform that increased the Chilean elementary and secondary school day by 30 percent between 1997 and 2010. Exposure to full-day school increases educational attainment and earnings when students are in their 20s and 30s. In addition, we find evidence of delayed childbearing among women, and some occupational upskilling. These labor market effects are not concentrated in any particular subgroup, but are widespread throughout the population.

"How Offenders and Victims Interact: A Case-study from a Public Transportation Reform" [Accepted, Review of Economics and Statistics]

Presented at 9th Transatlantic Workshop on the Economics of Crime (UPenn), U.Chicago; GSPP at Berkeley [Slides]

IDB Working Paper Series  1108

This paper models crime rates as a function of the interaction between potential offenders and victims. I present a simple model of these strategic interactions, and empirically test its basic predictions taking advantage of a reform to the public transport sector in Santiago, Chile (Transantiago). First, I discuss the extent to which a decline in the use of cash for economic transactions affects crime. Due to the highly liquid nature of cash, we may expect that places where a large amount of economic transactions are made in cash may have more crime opportunities. Under different identification strategies, I find a large decrease in cash-related robberies coinciding with the replacement of cash fares with a cashless card. In addition, I study how victim's behavior affects the level and nature of crime. I exploit a particular feature of Transantiago's transition period where compensation structure of bus drivers was required to change from being paid from a portion of revenue to receiving fixed salaries. For this period, I find a large increase in crime along with a proportional decrease in violence associated with the change in driver compensation structure. This particular response can be described under a moral hazard framework between bus owners (principal) and drivers (agent) which may have induced a large increase of criminal opportunities. 

"Crime-Time" (with Kenzo Asahi) [Under review]

Presented at LACEA, AL CAPONE (America Latina Crime and Policy Network), Econ Devlunch at Berkeley [Slides]

IDB Working Paper Series 991

We study the effect of ambient light on crime. We take advantage of Daylight Saving Time policy (DST) which imposes exogenous variations in daylight exposure at specific hours of the day. We use a rich administrative database managed by the Chilean national police which is a very centralized agency and collects detailed information regarding each crime incident. We find a significant 20% decrease in property crimes associated to the DST transition that increases in one hour the amount of sunlight for the 7-9pm period. Consistently we find a similar increase in crime when DST transition sharply decreases the daylight exposure for the same period of the day. Our findings are also consistent under two strategies that rely on different identification assumptions: sharp regression discontinuity design and a difference-in-differences regression analysis. When we analyze heterogenous responses for different crime categories our results suggest that most of the variation is driven by robbery which decreases 30\% during evening hours. Importantly, we detect no significant response induced by DST associated with a particular demand-side response such as the time commuting pattern of the population, and we find no substantial short-term displacement for a particular period of the day.

Publications - Book Chapters

[1] "Victim incentives and Criminal Activity: Evidence from Bus Driver Robberies in Chile" 

        Accepted, Review of Economics and Statistics (2020)

[2] "Crime and Justice in an Unequal Society"

        In The Inequality Crisis. Latin America and the Caribbean at the Crossroads. (Eds) Busso, M and Messina, J. (2020) [English] [Español]

[3] "The Role of the Cost of Crime Literature in Bridging the Gap between Social Science Research and Policy Making" (with Steven Raphael

Criminology & Public Policy 14.4 (2015): 589-632.

Commentaries: Daniel NaginSteve AosDan A. Black, Robert M. Solow and Lowell J. TaylorCharles F. ManskiMichael TonryBrandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington

[4] "Identification and Characterization of Vulnerable groups: Some elements to consider risk(with C.Rodríguez, E.Undurraga and J.R.Zubizarreta). 

In Camino al Bicentenario, Propuestas para Chile. Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile. Cap X, pp 305-329 (2008). (In spanish) 

Works in Progress

"Helping Families Help Themselves: Effects of an SMS Parental and Stress Management Intervention" (with S.Amaral, L.Dinarte and S.Pérez)

AEA RCT Registry. February 01.

'Wish you were here'? Discrimination patterns in the judicial system during an immigration wave" (with D.Vergara and N. Grau).

"The effect of air pollution on student absenteeism" (with Krista Ruffini

"Crime-differential responses to an environmental shock: Evidence from blackouts" (with Pedro Rodríguez). 

"The impact of pretrial detention on health-related outcomes" (with Nicolas Grau, Adrian Mundt, and Jorge Rivera).

"Pleading for Justice: Pre-Trial Detention and Plea Bargaining in America" (with Amy E. Lerman and Ariel Green). 

"Crime displacement and the geographical distribution of criminal activity" (with Kenzo Asahi)