Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes

Institutional Affiliations: Universidad de los Andes and CEDE

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2019Preschool Quality and Child Development
with Alison Andrew, Orazio Attanasio, Lina Cardona Sosa, Sonya Krutikova, Marta Rubio-Codina: w26191
Global access to preschool has increased dramatically yet preschool quality is often poor. We use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate two approaches to improving the quality of Colombian preschools. We find that the first, which was rolled out nationwide and provides additional resources for materials and new staff, did not benefit children’s development and, unintentionally, led teachers to reduce their involvement in classroom activities. The second approach additionally trains teachers to improve their pedagogical methods. We find this addition offset the negative effects on teacher behavior, improved the quality of teaching and raised children’s cognition, language and school readiness.
September 2018Early Stimulation and Nutrition: The Impacts of a Scalable Intervention
with Orazio Attanasio, Helen Baker-Henningham, Costas Meghir, Diana Pineda, Marta Rubio-Codina: w25059
This paper evaluates the effects of the implementation of a structured early stimulation curriculum combined with a nutritional intervention through public large-scale parenting support services for vulnerable families in rural Colombia, known as FAMI, using a clustered randomized controlled trial. We randomly assigned 87 towns in rural areas to treatment and control and 1,460 children younger than 1 year of age were assessed at baseline. The interventions were also complemented with training, supervision and coaching of FAMI program facilitators. We assessed program effects on children’s nutritional status, and on cognitive and socio-emotional development; as well as on parental practices. The interventions had a positive and significant effect on a cognitive development factor based on t...
August 2004Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia. 1976-1996
with Mauricio Cardenas
in Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, James J. Heckman and Carmen Pagés, editors
November 2003Determinants of Labor Demand in Colombia: 1976-1996
with Mauricio Cardenas: w10077
Colombia's unemployment rate rose to 20% during the late 1990s from less than 8% in 1994. This paper argues that this has been the result of high non-wage labor costs embodied in the legislation. The estimated own-wage labor demand elasticity is around 0.5, which implies that a reduction in those costs, while politically costly, can have a significant payoff in terms of equity and efficiency. We also find that adjustment costs of changing employment as well as wage elasticities were not affected by changes in the regulations regarding severance payments and dismissal costs. In this sense, structural reforms did have an impact on labor demand through its effect on relative prices alone. Finally, we conclude that the wage elasticity of labor demand increases (in absolute terms) during contr...

Published: Heckman, James J. and Carmen Pages (eds.) Law and employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, NBER Conference Report series. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

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