Universidad Torcuato di Tella
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recent publications
The article analyses populism as a specific logic of governmental exercise that sets into motion the pattern of transformation of contemporary democratic regimes: democratic hybridization. Democratic hybridization entails the piecemeal dismantling of key aspects of liberal constitutionalism that take place in already democratized societies and is carried out by democratically elected administrations. The proposed pattern of regime hybridization differs from the one described by the literature on competitive authoritarianism since it does not take place within an authoritarian regime but in a democratic one. If carried out to the end, the pattern of democratic hybridization might lead to the replacement of democracy with authoritarianism. Such a pattern of political change (and not the traditional pattern of regime rupture) is the main threat faced by liberal democracies nowadays.
The time-dependent traveling salesman problem with time windows (TDTSPTW) is a variant of the well-known traveling salesman problem with time windows, in which travel times are not assumed to be constant. The TDTSPTW accounts for the effects of congestion at the planning level, being particularly suited for distribution problems in large cities. In this paper we develop a labeling-based algorithm for the TDTSPTW that incorporates partial dominance and generalizes several state-of-the-art components from the time-independent related literature. We propose a framework general enough to be applied to the TDTSPTW and its variant without time windows, with the objective of minimizing the duration or the makespan. As part of the framework, we introduce a new state-space relaxation specifically designed for the time-dependent context. Extensive computational experiments show the effectiveness of the overall approach and the impact of the new relaxation, outperforming several recent algorithms proposed for these variants on more than 9,000 benchmark instances. In addition, we frame the minimum tour duration problem within the time-dependent literature and include it as a benchmark for our algorithm, obtaining improved computation times and 31 new optimal solutions. Summary of Contribution: In this paper, we study the time-dependent traveling salesman problem with time windows (TDTSPTW), a difficult single-vehicle routing problem that incorporates more realistic travel time functions than its classic time-independent counterpart. As a result, the TDTSPTW is harder to solve, as it requires more complex models and algorithms. Using state-of-the-art optimization techniques, we propose an efficient solution approach for the TDTSPTW and some related variants that outperforms the previous approaches in the literature. Our paper emphasizes the importance of algorithmic design and efficient implementations to tackle relevant practical combinatorial optimization problems—in particular, for time-dependent problems. Moreover, the resulting algorithm fosters a new research direction regarding exact algorithms for time-dependent problems using dynamic programming and relaxation techniques.
Comparative political communication scholars repeatedly debated political parallelism as a tool to conceptualize the relation of media systems to political cleavages. Despite the fact that populism/anti-populism divides (re-)emerged as central political fault-lines, scholarship has paid little attention to the concept’s potential to look at how populist polarization restructures media-politics connections in Latin America and elsewhere. Through a combination of content analysis, in-depth interviews and other sources, this article traces shifts in news media alignments and journalistic practices during and following the recent experience of leftist-populist rule in Argentina. It argues that news media shifted to a distinct form of political parallelism organized around the populism/anti-populism divide in which most private mainstream news media assumed an active political role in the mobilization of anti-populism. The article provides a broader understanding of political parallelism that applies to settings of competitive-electoral populist politics and sheds light on not only news media alignments, but also media involvement in the political task of cleavage construction. Scholarly research on Latin America, given its focus on instrumental media-politics connections or its concerns over populist threats to media freedom, generally misses both the politicizing role of anti-populist media and the ways in which they mirror populist style.
We randomly assigned beneficiaries of a conditional cash transfer program in Peru to attend a 3 h training session designed to build their trust in financial institutions. We find that the intervention: (a) increased trust in banks, but had no effect on financial literacy, and (b) increased savings over a ten month period. The increase in savings represents a 1.4 percentage point increase in the savings rate out of the cash transfer deposits, and a 0.4 percentage point increase in the savings rate out of household income.
Circadian rhythms are modulated by age. The timing of the circadian clock under real-life conditions (i.e., chronotype) is progressively delayed during adolescence. However, schools start very early in the morning, when the adolescent’ clock is still not prepared to be awake. Consistently, the misalignment between early school timing and late chronotypes leads to poor sleep: both short and out-of-time, which is associated with adverse consequences for health and cognitive and academic performance. This situation worsens in some countries due to cultural differences: Argentinian adolescents have even later chronotypes than most of their peers around the globe. Later school start times are associated with better sleep and a lower impact of chronotype on academic performance. Several strategies are suggested to evaluate and to mitigate the consequences of the misalignment between chronotype and school timing. Importantly, local studies and interventions are the key to understand and improve adolescents’ education and well-being.
The analysis of thousands of time series in different languages reveals that word usage presents oscillations with a prevalence of 16-year cycles, mounted on slowly varying trends. These components carry different information: while similar oscillatory patterns gather semantically related words, similar trends group together keywords representative of cultural and historical periods. We interpreted the regular oscillations as cycles of interest and saturation, whose behavior could be captured using a simple mathematical model. Driving the model with the empirical trends, we were able to explain word frequency traces across multiple languages throughout the last three centuries. Our results suggest that word frequency usage is poised at dynamical criticality, close to a Hopf bifurcation which signals the emergence of oscillatory dynamics. Crucially, our model explains the oscillatory synchronization observed within groups of words and provides an interpretation of this phenomenon in terms of the cultural context driving collective cognition. These findings contribute to unravel how our use of language is shaped by the interplay between human cognition and sociocultural forces. Significance The frequency with which words are used presents regular oscillations of 16 years. We propose that these oscillations arise from a basic cognitive mechanism common to other cultural objects with life cycles, such as fashion. The words that belong to a topic of interest increase their frequency, which is then inhibited by saturation until interest is regained. Here we set up a simple mathematical model for the interaction of this cognitive mechanism and the sociocultural context, which explains the occurrence frequencies of thousands of words in different languages during the past three centuries. We show that oscillations are tuned to a critical point and are synchronized within word communities.
Economic inequality is associated with preferences for smaller, immediate gains over larger, delayed ones. Such temporal discounting may feed into rising global inequality, yet it is unclear whether it is a function of choice preferences or norms, or rather the absence of sufficient resources for immediate needs. It is also not clear whether these reflect true differences in choice patterns between income groups. We tested temporal discounting and five intertemporal choice anomalies using local currencies and value standards in 61 countries (N = 13,629). Across a diverse sample, we found consistent, robust rates of choice anomalies. Lower-income groups were not significantly different, but economic inequality and broader financial circumstances were clearly correlated with population choice patterns.
We study the selection of adjustment sets for estimating the interventional mean under an individualized treatment rule. We assume a non-parametric causal graphical model with, possibly, hidden variables and at least one adjustment set composed of observable variables. Moreover, we assume that observable variables have positive costs associated with them. We define the cost of an observable adjustment set as the sum of the costs of the variables that comprise it. We show that in this setting there exist adjustment sets that are minimum cost optimal, in the sense that they yield non-parametric estimators of the interventional mean with the smallest asymptotic variance among those that control for observable adjustment sets that have minimum cost. Our results are based on the construction of a special flow network associated with the original causal graph. We show that a minimum cost optimal adjustment set can be found by computing a maximum flow on the network, and then finding the set of vertices that are reachable from the source by augmenting paths. The optimaladj Python package implements the algorithms introduced in this article.
Classic and recent studies demonstrate how we fall for the ‘tyranny of the majority' and conform to the dominant trend when uncertain. However, in many social interactions outside of the laboratory, there is rarely a clearly identified majority and discerning who to follow might be challenging. Here, we asked whether in such conditions herding behaviour depends on a key statistical property of social information: the variance of opinions in a group. We selected a task domain where opinions are widely variable and asked participants (N = 650) to privately estimate the price of eight anonymous paintings. Then, in groups of five, they discussed and agreed on a shared estimate for four paintings. Finally, they provided revised individual estimates for all paintings. As predicted (https://osf.io/s89w4), we observed that group members converged to each other and boosted their confidence following social interaction. We also found evidence supporting the hypothesis that the more diverse groups show greater convergence, suggesting that the variance of opinions promotes herding in uncertain crowds. Overall, these findings empirically examine how, in the absence of a clear majority, the distribution of opinions relates to subjective feelings of confidence and herding behaviour.
This article presents and illustrates a novel value-based well-being framework, derived from service-dominant logic notions of the link between value and well-being. Based in a wide range of disciplines, this framework links well-being to four value outcomes: use, option, existence, and bequest value. Such value outcomes stem from the interaction of three dimensions: beneficiary (individual or collective), time (present or future), and space (proximal or broader context). By combining the three dimensions, the proposed framework reveals how people evaluate their own individual well-being according to different beneficiaries, times, and spaces.
We prove that if α ∈ (0, 1/2], then the packing dimension of a set E ⊂ ℝ2 for which there exists a set of lines of dimension 1 intersecting E in Hausdorff dimension ≥ α is at least 1/2 + α + c(α)for some c(α) > 0. In particular, this holds for α-Furstenberg sets, that is, sets having intersection of Hausdorff dimension ≥ ≥ with at least one line in every direction. Together with an earlier result of T. Orponen, this provides an improvement for the packing dimension of α-Furstenberg sets over the “trivial” estimate for all values of α ∈ (0, 1). The proof extends to more general families of lines, and shows that the scales at which an α-Furstenberg set resembles a set of dimension close to 1/2 + α, if they exist, are rather sparse.
The internationalisation of higher education is a growing phenomenon of great interest not only to universities but also to nations and governments. Developed nations are the main receptors of international students and researchers. As a matter of fact, 80% of all enrollees around the globe migrate from peripheral countries to industrialized centers to continue their education. In the case of Argentina, only 1% of all non-local students chose the country as an academic destination and over 90% of that group comes from Latin America. Thus, it can be said that in terms of internationalisation, Argentina and the region, reproduce themselves under a pattern of endogamy. The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the policies implemented by the Argentine State to develop and strengthen the internationalisation of higher education in the country. In order to do this, several interviews were conducted with key actors at different public organizations. A documentary analysis of public reports complements primary sources of information. A description of the response given by universities and the State to internationalisation processes in the face of COVID-19 is also provided.
While in recent decades developing countries have achieved significant improvements in well-being, disparities within countries persist. Focusing on municipalities in which health services are decentralized and patronage is prevalent, we argue that a little-studied factor, the alignment between mayors and governors, plays an important role in explaining differences in infant mortality rates. In the context of widespread clientelism, lack of alignment deprives mayors of substantial discretionary resources. This generates incentives for nonaligned mayors to focus on improving decentralized social services under their control to cultivate voter support, producing better welfare outcomes associated with these services. Employing an original dataset of metropolitan municipalities in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 1991 and 2018, we find that mayoral alignment is associated with higher infant mortality, a critical metric of well-being, and with lower levels of health service provision. Local health services in turn reduce infant mortality rates in our data. These results are robust when we control for relevant socioeconomic and political factors, such as electoral competition, protest, and the presence of the state in slums, where health risks are higher.
The misalignment between late chronotypes and early school start times affect health, performance and psychological well-being of adolescents. Here we test whether, and how, the baseline chronotype (i.e. chronotype at the beginning of secondary school) and the school timing affect the magnitude and the direction of the developmental change in chronotype during adolescence. We evaluated a sample of Argentinian students (n = 259) who were randomly assigned to attend school in the morning (07:45 a.m.–12:05 p.m.), afternoon (12:40 p.m.–05:00 p.m.) or evening (05:20 p.m.–09:40 p.m.) school timings. Importantly, chronotype and sleep habits were assessed longitudinally in the same group of students along secondary school (at 13–14 y.o. and 17–18 y.o.). Our results show that: (1) although chronotypes partially align with class time, this effect is insufficient to fully account for the differences observed in sleep-related variables between school timings; (2) both school timing and baseline chronotype are independently associated with the direction and the magnitude of change in chronotype, with greater delays related to earlier baseline chronotypes and later school timings. The practical implications of these results are challenging and should be considered in the design of future educational timing policies to improve adolescents’ well-being.
The environmental field is characterized by a proliferation of concepts that aim to promote new practices and more sustainable development models. It is important to understand whether these concepts achieve their transformative objectives or linger around as empty buzzwords. This paper analyses the concept of ecosystem services, which seeks to promote conservation by capturing the value of the services that nature provides to humans. By analysing its translation into practice and policy in the context of extractivist and commodity-based economies, we reveal its limited transformative potential. Our analysis of three Argentine provinces shows how the concept is not fulfilling its advocates' expectations and has not been able to provide new tools to rethink economic activities in a more environmentally sustainable fashion. By contrast, the concept has been applied in ways that accommodate the local status quo and the interests of hegemonic actors. Future environmental conceptual innovation ought to incorporate deeper awareness of the political and economic conditions that affect a concept’s translation into practice and policy.
Social monogamy predominates in avian mating systems, but this strategy seems unlikely among brood parasites, where the emancipation from parental care should lead to an increase in numbers of mates for both sexes. Despite this, there is great diversity in mating systems in brood parasitic birds. The Screaming Cowbird (Molothrus rufoaxillaris) is a brood parasite that specializes almost exclusively on one host the Greyish Baywing (Agelaioides badius). Field observations and a prior radio telemetry study indicate that male‐female pairs spend a great deal of time together through the day, suggesting that they may be socially monogamous. We tested the hypothesis of social monogamy by radio‐tracking male and female screaming cowbirds using an array of automated radiotracking receivers to collect data on spatial behavior and social mating system. Monogamous pair bonds were recorded through social network analysis. These bonds endured throughout the entire breeding season, with males and females remaining associated throughout the day. In accordance with the hypothesis, paired Screaming Cowbirds spent significantly more time in proximity to their mates than to other conspecifics of the opposite sex, and had similar home ranges. Social monogamy in the Screaming Cowbird differed markedly from the social polygyny/promiscuity exhibited by the sympatric congener Shiny Cowbird (M. bonariensis), a generalist brood parasite.
In this article, we study Latin American populist constitutions and their uses, seeking to analytically understand whether populist constitutionalism is, indeed, a thing. We posit that Latin American populist constitutionalism is a particular form of mixed constitutionalism in three senses: first, as a specific combination of substantive traits that includes both empowering and (some) constraining devices; second, as a peculiar politics of constitutional change that incorporates popular mobilization against pre-existing institutions as a key trait; and third, as a particular practice of constitutional enforcement that involves weak and selective implementation, often through institutional capture. By considering not only the texts of constitutions but also the ways in which they are changed and implemented, we hope to complement legal perspectives of mixed constitutions with a sociopolitical analysis of practices and contexts. By capturing the distinctive contribution of Latin American populism to the discussion of mixed constitutions, we seek to challenge both legal conceptions of constitutionalism that reduce it to negative or constraining features, and political conceptions of populism that simply equate it to authoritarian rule.
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937 members
Jaqueline Pels
  • Departamento de Administración de Empresas
Ricardo Salvatore
  • Departamento de Historia
Gustavo J. Vulcano
  • School of Business
Catalina Smulovitz
  • Departamento de Ciencia Política y Estudios Internacionales
Federico Sturzenegger
  • Departamento de Administración de Empresas
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