Hello! I am Pablo, an Economics Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. My interests are Labor Economics and Political Economy. If you’d like to contact me, you can send an email to pablomh@berkeley.edu. You can find my CV here.

Working Papers


Accepted, Journal of Labor Economics

We study the labor market returns to a State guaranteed loan used to finance university degrees in Chile. Using a regression discontinuity design, we show that marginally eligible students forego vocational education in favor of universities but reduce their probability of graduation. Despite the fact that university loan-takers accumulate more student debt, their labor market outcomes are not different from those of ineligible students. We find suggestive evidence that the lower quality of receiving institutions accounts for these results. Finally, we extrapolate the effects away from the eligibility cutoff and show that supra-marginal students benefit from this policy.


We show that proximity to military bases during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990) exposed civilians to a higher intensity of state repression and led to (i) greater electoral opposition to Pinochet and (ii) a long-lasting strengthening of democratic values. Our empirical strategy exploits the location of military bases during the many decades of democratic rule before the military coup to show that residents of counties housing these bases both registered to vote and voted “No” to Pinochet’s continuation in power at higher rates in the crucial 1988 plebiscite that bolstered the democratic transition. Counties with military bases also experienced more civilian deaths and forced disappearances during the dictatorship, suggesting that increased exposure to repression contributed to the change in voters’ behavior. After democratization, residents of these counties who were exposed to the military coup report stronger support for democracy, but there are no persistent effects on political ideology or electoral outcomes.


We study the impact of a reform that increased the regulatory burden on temporary agency work (TAW) in Chile. Using a panel of manufacturing plants, we show that the use of TAW fell immediately after the regulation, with differential effects by plants' size and volatility. Difference-in-differences estimates suggest that plants using TAW substituted away from agency workers after the regulation, increasing regular work by 9.2%. Despite this substitution effect, total employment decreased by 8.6% in these plants. Reassuringly, plants with higher shares of agency workers -consequently more exposed to the regulatory change- experienced larger changes in employment. We report less precise evidence of negative scale effects on output and profits.

Teaching Experience

At UC Berkeley, I have worked as a graduate student instructor (GSI) for Introduction to Economics, Microeconomics, and Applied Econometrics.

Before starting my PhD, I also worked as a teaching assistant at Universidad de Chile where I taught Labor Economics, Statistics, Public Policy, Political Theory, Macroeconomics, and Finance.

Published Research (Pre-PhD)

CEPAL Review; 2013, Vol. 109, p. 99-114, with A. Redondo.

Estudios Públicos; 2014, Vol. 133, p. 37-68, with A. Bucarey, M. Jorquera, S. Urzua.