Research

Working Papers

Sent Away: The Long-Term Effects of Slum Clearance on Children [Draft] (with Felipe Carrera​) 

* Previously circulated as "Sent Away: The Long-Term Effects of Slum Clearance on Children and Families." [JMP version

​Coverage: UCLA Research Spotlight World Bank

We use evidence from a slum clearance program implemented in Santiago, Chile, between 1979 and 1985, to study the long-term effects of moving to a high-poverty neighborhood on children’s adult earnings. During the country’s dictatorship, slum families were mandated to relocate to public housing in low-income areas. Two-thirds were relocated to new housing projects on the periphery of the city, and the rest received housing at their initial location. We construct a novel dataset that combines archival records with administrative data to estimate a displacement effect 20 to 40 years after the policy. We compare the outcomes of displaced and non-displaced children from slums with the same probability of being cleared, and find negative effects: On average, displaced children have 14% lower earnings and 0.64 fewer years of education as adults compared to non-displaced children. Moreover, displaced children are more likely to later work in informal jobs. We find different mechanisms operate by age at baseline. Young children are more likely to be affected by a neighborhood effect due to lower home values and the lack of schools, but teenagers are also affected due to the disruption of networks. Even though displaced children are less likely to live in their assigned neighborhoods, they live in higher-poverty areas as adults.

Who Benefits from a Maternity Leave Extension? Evidence from Chile (draft coming soon)

This paper studies the short- and medium-term effects of extending parental leave on women's labor market outcomes. I exploit a reform implemented in Chile in 2011 that extended women's parental leave from 84 to 168 days. I combine administrative data on leave claims with employer-employee data to estimate the effect of a longer leave on women's wages and employment seven years after childbirth. My results show that women exposed to the reform extend parental leave in 78 days and reduce the use of other sick-leave claims. Exposed mothers are more likely to be formally employed for four years after childbirth and conditional on employment, their wages are higher in the medium term. The positive employment effects are driven by single women and workers without a college education, while married women are more likely to transition to more flexible jobs. My results suggest a longer leave protects single mothers from leaving the formal labor market after childbirth, and thus reduces the child penalty in the medium term.

Segregation and Death: The Consequences of Slum Clearance on Mortality (with Felipe Carrera) (draft upon request)

We study the effects of forced displacement on adults’ mortality. We use evidence from a slum clearance program implemented in Santiago, Chile, between 1979 and 1985 that forced slum families to relocate to public housing in low-income areas. Two-thirds of families were relocated to new housing projects on the periphery of the city, and the rest received housing at their initial location. We compare the outcomes of displaced and non-displaced adults from slums with the same probability of being cleared, and find dis- placement increases mortality: Displaced adults die 30% more per year and the effect is relatively constant across 35 years after the intervention. Increases in mortality appear in the entire age distribution for both men and women, but causes vary by gender. Women are more likely to die of disease-related causes such as heart disease or cancer, and men are more likely to die of external/violent causes and alcohol and tobacco addiction. Because of higher segregation and lower access to jobs in destination neighborhoods, our results suggest poverty could be the channel to increased mortality among displaced individuals.

Selected Work in Progress

Forced versus Voluntary Moves: The Long-Term Consequences of Housing Policies for the Poor (data collection in progress)

The Effect of Changes in Public Health Administration on Mortality: Evidence from the Chilean Dictatorship (with Dominique Araya-Vergara and Lelys Dinarte)