Working Papers

Job Loss, Unemployment Insurance and Health: Evidence from Brazil
with D. Britto (Bocconi University), A. Fonseca (Federal Revenue of Brazil) and B. Sampaio (Federal University of Pernambuco)

Abstract: We study the causal effects of job loss and unemployment insurance (UI) on hospitalization and mortality for Brazilian workers. We construct a novel dataset that merges millions of individual-level administrative records on employment, hospital discharges, and mortality for a period of 17 years. Using a difference-in-differences research design that compares laid-off workers from firms that experienced mass layoffs to similar workers in firms that did not, we find that job loss causes a 30% increase in the probability of male in-patient admission to public hospitals, and a 34% increase in the risk of male mortality. Our estimates are driven primarily by external causes and apply to both older and younger male workers. We find no effects on female outcomes, but children of both male and female workers are subjected to higher risks of hospitalization following their parent's job dismissal. Using a regression-discontinuity design that exploits variation in UI eligibility following job loss, we find that UI largely offsets the risk of hospitalization for older male workers. Our results indicate that governmental labor market policies can effectively mitigate a substantial portion of the adverse health impacts of job loss.

Monitoring Transfers to Public Health: Evidence from Randomized Audits in Brazil

Abstract: This paper presents evidence that the exogenous release of information on mismanagement of federal resources to public healthcare in Brazil led to lower funding to this sector in following years. I leverage from an inspection policy based on randomized audits to the public accounts of Brazilian municipalities, which was implemented nationwide by a federal agency. Using data from reports generated from these audits, combined with administrative data on federal transfers to health and healthcare programs, I show empirical, reduced-form estimates that transfers are significantly reduced to municipalities where a higher incidence of irregularities was revealed through the audits. Preferred estimates suggest that procured transfers to infrastructure maintenance in public healthcare establishments (which are made through contractual agreements with local vendors or governments called "partnerships") in those municipalities are reduced in at least 58%, on average. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate such figure should correspond to total cuts of about 5.57 billion Reais (roughly 1.4 billion US Dollars). These reductions, however sizable, do not appear to impact provision at the endpoints of such transfers, as additional estimations show that audits are inconsequential to observable measures of public healthcare infrastructure. Both results combined suggest that, at the observable extensive margin, supervision through random audits may help improve efficiency in public healthcare spending.

Selected Work in Progress

The Economic Impacts of Children's Health Shocks
with D. Britto (Bocconi University), A. Fonseca (Federal Revenue of Brazil) and B. Sampaio (Federal University of Pernambuco)

Abstract (Preliminary): In this project, we study the economic impacts of children's health shocks on families. We use a novel dataset on Brazilian families constructed from millions of links between parents and children, spanning several decades and covering a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Combining it with administrative data on formal employment and health, and employing an event study approach that explores variation in the timing of children's in-patient admissions to public hospitals, we find that children's health shocks have persistent, positive impacts on parents' labor supply and earnings. Early estimates show that the average probability of employment up to four years after the shock increase in 4% and 8% for male and female parents, respectively, with labor earnings increasing respectively by 9% and 12%. We further document that children's hospitalization cause an increase in enrollment of private health insurance plans (for parents and children), and a decrease in children's out-patient visits to public primary care centers. These results, prevalent among high-income families, suggest that effects may to some extent be driven by parents seeking to provide better health care to their children.

Hospital Closures, Public Option, and Health Outcomes

Abstract: Coming soon.

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Broadband Internet and Protests: Evidence from the Occupy Movement  (pre-doctoral research)
Information Economics and Policy, 2022, 60, 100982;  pub. link.
with R. Lima (Federal University of Pernambuco) and B. Sampaio (Federal University of Pernambuco)

Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of broadband Internet availability in the occurrence of events of civil unrest. Using collected data on 2011's Occupy Movement in the U.S., we find that each new Internet Service Provider (which is associated to an increase in broadband penetration) accounts for an increase between 1 and 3 p.p. in the probability of observing protests in a given location. Results are consistent when analyzing county-level data for the contiguous U.S., for each different U.S. region separately (Northeast, Midwest, South and West), and when analyzing city-level data for California.