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Research

Concentrate to adapt: crops, droughts and land productivity

This paper aims to establish whether the effects of drought on agricultural land productivity correlate with the spatial concentration of crops. For this, I leverage drought conditions in California between 2010 and 2020, using detailed weekly information from the US Drought Monitor. My empirical strategy has three steps. First,  I identify the most concentrated crops in California using granular location data for over 40 crop types (almost 1.5 million parcels) and the Ellison-Glaeser index. Second, I use multiple-level fixed-effects specifications to analyze the effects of drought on land productivity. In the third step, I look for heterogeneous effects of drought across different levels of concentration of crops. I found that the effect of droughts on land productivity is positive and differentiated across levels of spatial concentration. These results have implications, demonstrating that the spatial distribution of crops influences how the agricultural sector responds to climate change events such as droughts.

The next bus out. Urban public transportation and multidimensional poverty  (with A. Garcia-Suaza)

This paper seeks to establish the effect of implementing a BRT system on multidimensional poverty, explore how it affects labor market outcomes as the main mechanism, and understand the effects across the distribution of poverty. Taking Cartagena's new transport system as our setting, using data from the 2018 National Census, and a Doubly-Robust estimation, we found that connectivity to Transcaribe decreases the Multidimensional Poverty Index by 6.4 p.p. The effect is more pronounced for those in the most vulnerable groups: young and unskilled workers, and women. The estimates for labor market outcomes suggest that connectivity improved access to jobs that are a good match for the skills and qualifications of unemployed individuals.

 

Housing prices, buses, and trams in Medellín (Colombia) (With M.A García López)

This paper aims to establish the impact of two medium capacity transportation systems (MCTS) on housing prices in Medellín (Colombia): Metroplús, a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, and Tranvía, a tramway system. Using repeated cross-sectional data from the Medell´ın Quality of Life Survey from 2008 to 2018 and difference-indifferences estimators, we find that Metroplús has a negative impact on the growth of rental prices, whereas Tranvía has a positive impact. We do not find any effect on several other outcomes, such as the perception of quality and coverage of the public transportation in the neighborhoods they serve, and the number of private vehicles in the household.

Highway traffic in Britain: The effect of road capacity changes (with M.A Garcia-López and R. Sanchis-Guarner H.) 

This paper aims to estimate the effect of road capacity improvements on the volume of traffic (VKT) during the 2001 – 2020 period in Great Britain (GB) at the Travel to Work Area level (TTWA), using longitudinal data, information for different types of vehicles, and urban-rural area indicators. We consider a theoretical framework in which the equilibrium between the demand for travel and the average cost at a specific capacity determines the consumer surplus in scenarios with high and low volumes of traffic. The framework allows us to derive the hypothesis that in scenarios with low volumes of traffic, increasing the road network capacity can improve the consumer surplus.

WORK IN PROGRESS

Bypassing pollution (with M.A Garcia-López and R. Sanchis-Guarner H.) 

We study how the construction of a new bypass impacts air pollution levels in the urban area it bypasses, the area where it is built, and overall. Understanding this effect is important considering the health effects of traffic-related pollution and the resources devoted yearly to road infrastructure. Hence, our objectives are to: (a) establish the causal effect of building a new bypass on air pollution levels in the built-up area; (b) determine the causal effect of a new bypass on air pollution levels in the construction area; (c) evaluate the total effect of a new bypass on air pollution levels; (d) explore the role of traffic volumes on air pollution level changes.

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