I am a sixth year economics PhD student at UCLA studying applied microeconomics. I am interested in the economics of migration, crime, and trade. I will be joining the Collegio Carlo Alberto as an Assistant Professor starting in September 2021.

Curriculum Vitae


Immigrants, Legal Status, and Illegal Trade

Abstract: Nearly $2 trillion worth of illegal goods are trafficked across international borders every year, generating violence and other social costs along the way. Some have controversially linked illegal trafficking to immigrants, yet an appropriate immigration policy response is unclear. In this paper, I use novel data on nearly 10,000 confiscations of illegal drugs in Spain to study how immigrants and immigration policy affect the pattern and scale of illegal drug trafficking. To identify the causal effect of immigrants on trafficking, I construct an instrumental variable that interacts variation in total immigrant inflows into Spain by origin country with the fraction of immigrants inflowing into a province. I find that a 10% increase in the population of immigrants from a given origin country relative to the mean raises the value of drugs trafficked from the origin country confiscated in a given province by 12%. Moreover, this relationship is driven entirely by immigrants without legal status. To better understand the role of legal status, I exploit an extraordinary regularization of nearly half a million immigrants in 2005. Event study estimates suggest that granting immigrants legal status results in a long-run decline in drug trafficking, corresponding to the acquisition of citizenship by the immigrants.

Upcoming presentations: Networks Conference at INET (scheduled), Annual Conference of the European Society for Population Economics (scheduled), Econ of Crime online seminar (scheduled), NBER Summer Institute (International Trade and Investment) (scheduled)

How Much Are Car Purchases Driven by Home Equity Withdrawal? Evidence from Household Surveys (with Daniel J. Vine and Karen M. Pence), 2019, Vol. 51, No. 5, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking.

Is Underemployment Underestimated? Evidence from Panel Data (with Geng Li), May 2016, FEDS Notes.


Labor Market Hours Constraints and Home Production (with Geng Li)

The Effect of an Early-Childhood and Fertility Intervention on Firm and Farm Productivity (with Tania Barham, Randall Kuhn, and Patrick Turner)