I am an Economics Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. My research interests lie in the intersection between macroeconomics, labor, and industrial organization. My recent work investigates the effect of minimum wage policies on firms.
I am currently on the job market and available for interviews at the European Job Market 2020 and the ASSA 2021 Job Market.
PhD in Economics, 2016-2021 (Expected)
University of Texas at Austin
MSc. in Economics, 2018
University of Texas at Austin
BSc. in Economics, 2012
University of Costa Rica
This paper analyzes the impact of minimum wages on different margins of firm dynamics using Costa Rica’s occupation-specific minimum wage setting. To this purpose, I assemble rich administrative data covering the universe of workers and firms in the 2006-2017 period to construct firm-level exposure measures to the minimum wage policy, and estimate the impact of differential exposure to the minimum wage on firm outcomes at several year horizons. The analysis yields two important results: First, minimum wages induce firms to increase their labor shares, but with a negative and persistent impact on their profitability. The positive effect on the labor shares moderates as firms reduce their employment levels and expand their capital stocks. Second, raising minimum wages increases firm exit and lowers firm entry, with an estimated adverse effect on employment of 0.8 percent due to the missing entrants associated with the policy.
This paper provides new evidence on the minimum wage impact on employment flows, using Costa Rica’s distinctive occupation-based setting. I use administrative data from 2006-2017 to estimate firm-level minimum wage exposure and compute dynamic responses to the policy. Results indicate that firms increase their pay premiums in compliance with the policy. However, higher minimum wages have a negative and lasting effect on hiring rates and induce a temporary increase in separation rates. Job-to-job separation rates, on the contrary, decline after a minimum wage increase. I propose a wage-posting model with endogenous job creation to rationalize the results.
This paper studies the capital-labor substitution effects associated with higher minimum wages, using Costa Rica’s rich administrative data. I exploit this country’s occupation-based setting to estimate average and sector-specific elasticities of substitution between capital and labor. I find elasticities consistently below one, suggesting that the substitution away from labor towards capital is not large enough to reduce the labor share after a minimum wage increase. Specifically, I compute an elasticity of 0.59 for all firms, and significant heterogeneity across representative sectors, stressing differences in the production technologies across industries. The estimated value is higher in manufacturing (0.81) and tradable sectors (0.76) but smaller in non-tradable sectors (0.46).