Matias Busso

Research Department
Inter-American Development Bank
1300 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Tel: 202-623-2303

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2014The Causal Effect of Competition on Prices and Quality: Evidence from a Field Experiment
with Sebastian Galiani: w20054
This paper provides the first experimental evidence on the effect of increased competition on the prices and quality of goods. We rely on an intervention that randomized the entry of 61 retail firms (grocery stores) into 72 local markets in the context of a conditional cash transfer program that serves the poor in the Dominican Republic. Six months after the intervention, product prices in the treated districts had decreased by about 6%, while product quality and service quality had not changed. Using a theoretical model, we arrive at the conclusion that the poor segments of the population in these markets care the most about prices and much less about quality. Our results are also informative to the design of social policies. They suggest that policymakers should pay attention to supply c...
June 2010Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy
with Jesse Gregory, Patrick M. Kline: w16096
This paper empirically assesses the incidence and efficiency of Round I of the federal urban Empowerment Zone (EZ) program using confidential microdata from the Decennial Census and the Longitudinal Business Database. To ground our welfare analysis, we develop a heterogeneous agent general equilibrium model in which the distortions generated by place-based policies depend upon a set of reduced form elasticities which our empirical work centers on estimating. Using rejected and future applicants to the EZ program as controls we find that EZ designation substantially increased employment in zone neighborhoods, particularly for zone residents. The program also generated wage increases for workers from zone neighborhoods worth approximately $320M per year. Based upon estimates of the number of...

Published: Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 897-947, April. citation courtesy of

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