Ministry of Finance, Chile
Teatinos 120, Piso 12
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2013||The Long-term Effects of Early Lead Exposure: Evidence from a case of Environmental Negligence|
with Tomás Rau, Sergio S. Urzúa: w18915
This paper estimates the effect of early lead exposure on academic achievement and adult earnings. We analyze longitudinal information from individuals attending primary and secondary schools in the city of Arica (in northern Chile). Between 1984 and 1989, Arica received more than 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals containing high concentrations of lead. Initially, the chemical waste was located several kilometers from the city. However, Arica's rapid expansion, which included the construction of housing projects just meters away from the waste deposit, put a large number of families at risk. Our data include information on residential proximity to the polluted area, levels of lead exposure, comprehensive demographic information, nationally representative academic test scores and administrativ...
|February 2013||Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Postsecondary Degrees: Evidence from Chile|
with Jorge Rodríguez, Sergio S. Urzúa: w18817
We analyze the economic returns to different postsecondary degrees in Chile. We posit a schooling decision model with unobserved ability, observed test scores and labor market outcomes. We benefit from administrative records to carry out our empirical strategy. Our results show positive average returns to postsecondary degrees, especially for five-year degrees. However, we also uncover a large fraction of individuals with realized negative net returns. Although psychic benefits of postsecondary education could rationalize this result, we argue this might also suggest that individuals lack information at the time schooling decisions are made. Finally, our findings illustrate the importance of allowing for heterogeneous treatment effects when making policy recommendations.