Enrique Seira

Centro de Investigación Económica
Ave. Santa Teresa # 930
Mexico, D. F. 10700, Mexico

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2017Banking on Trust: How Debit Cards Enable the Poor to Save More
with Pierre Bachas, Paul Gertler, Sean Higgins: w23252
Trust is an essential element of economic transactions, but trust in financial institutions is low, especially among the poor. Debit cards provide not only easier access to savings, but also a mechanism to monitor bank account balances and thereby build trust in a financial institution. We study a natural experiment in which debit cards are rolled out to beneficiaries of a Mexican conditional cash transfer program whose benefits are already directly deposited into a savings account. Using administrative data on over 340,000 bank accounts over four years, we find that prior to receiving a debit card, beneficiaries do not save in these accounts. Beneficiaries then begin to increase their savings after 9 to 12 months with the card. During this initial stagnant period, they use the card to che...
April 2014On the Distributive Costs of Drug-Related Homicides
with Nicolás Ajzenman, Sebastian Galiani: w20067
This is the first paper to study the economic effects of drug-trafficking organization violence. We exploit the manyfold increase in homicides in 2008-2011 in Mexico resulting from its war on organized drug traffickers to estimate the effect of drug-related homicides on house prices. We use an unusually rich dataset that provides national coverage on house prices and homicides and exploit within-municipality variations. We find that the impact of violence on housing prices is borne entirely by the poor sectors of the population. An increase in homicides equivalent to one standard deviation leads to a 3% decrease in the price of low-income housing. In spite of this large burden on the poor, the willingness to pay in order to reverse the increase in drug-related crime is not high. We estimat...

Published: Nicolas Ajzenman & Sebastian Galiani & Enrique Seira, 2015. "On the Distributive Costs of Drug-Related Homicides," The Journal of Law and Economics, vol 58(4), pages 779-803.

December 2008Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Evidence from Timber Auctions
with Susan Athey, Jonathan Levin: w14590
We study entry and bidding patterns in sealed bid and open auctions with heterogeneous bidders. Using data from U.S. Forest Service timber auctions, we document a set of systematic effects of auction format: sealed bid auctions attract more small bidders, shift the allocation towards these bidders, and can also generate higher revenue. We show that a private value auction model with endogenous participation can account for these qualitative effects of auction format. We estimate the model's parameters and show that it can explain the quantitative effects as well. Finally, we use the model to provide an assessment of bidder competitiveness, which has important consequences for auction choice.

Published: Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2011. "Comparing open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Evidence from Timber Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 207-257. citation courtesy of

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