Orazio Pietro Attanasio

Orazio Pietro Attanasio
University College London | UCL · Department of Economics

PhD London School of Economics

About

244
Publications
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12,849
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Publications

Publications (244)
Article
This paper examines the prices of basic staples in rural Mexico. We document that nonlinear pricing in the form of quantity discounts is common, that quantity discounts are sizable for basic staples, and that the well‐known conditional cash transfer program Progresa has significantly increased quantity discounts, although the program, as documented...
Article
Full-text available
Colombia's national early childhood strategy launched in 2011 aimed at improving the quality of childcare services offered to socio-economically vulnerable children, and included the possibility that children and their childcare providers could transfer from non-parental family daycare units to large childcare centers in urban areas. This study see...
Article
This paper revisits recent claims that poor households owning cattle in developing countries settings do not behave according to the tenets of capitalism. We point out that the discussion was based on evidence from one single year only, while cows and buffalos are assets whose return varies through time. In drought years, when fodder is scarce and...
Article
The relationship between early adversity and numerous negative outcomes across the lifespan is evident in a wide range of societies and cultures (e.g., Pakulak, Stevens, & Neville, 2018). Among the most affected neural systems are those supporting attention, self-regulation, and stress regulation. As such, these systems represent targets for neurob...
Article
We evaluate the long- term impacts of a randomized Colombian training and job placement program. Following the large short- term effects, we now find that the program effects persist, increasing formal participation and earnings contributions to social security and working in larger firms. By using a large administrative source we are also able to...
Article
We estimate production functions for cognition and health for children aged 1-12 in India, based on the Young Lives Survey. India has over 70 million children aged 0-5 who are at risk of developmental deficits. The inputs into the production functions include parental background, prior child cognition and health, and child investments, which are ta...
Article
In this chapter we review the recent literature on the effects of changing global demographic trends on consumption, factor prices and social security. We also construct an overlapping generation model with four regions of the world. The model is calibrated so that we match some basic statistics of the last few decades. We assume that the model was...
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In low- and middle-income countries (LIMCs), measuring early childhood development (ECD) with standard tests in large scale surveys and evaluations of interventions is difficult and expensive. Multi-dimensional screeners and single-domain tests ('short tests') are frequently used as alternatives. However, their validity in these circumstances is un...
Data
Internal Standardization of Scores using Age-Conditional Means and SDs. (DOCX)
Data
Canonical Correlations between Bayley-III and Short Tests Canonical Covariates, by Age Group. (DOCX)
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Research has previously shown a gap of near 0.5 of a standard deviation (SD) in cognition and language development between the top and bottom household wealth quartile in children aged 6–42 months in a large representative sample of low- and middle-income families in Bogota, using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development. The gaps in fin...
Article
This paper uses unique primary data on directly elicited individual subjective expectations to analyse and characterize the process that generates the income of poor, rural Indian households. We validate and use responses to subjective expectations questions and a parametric assumption to fit a household-specific probability distribution for future...
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In Colombia’s bottom socio-economic strata, 46.6% of children under two are anaemic. A prevalence of above 20% falls within the WHO guidelines for daily supplementation with multiple micronutrient powder (MNP). To evaluate the effect of daily MNP supplementation on anaemia amongst Colombian children aged 12–24 months we ran a cluster RCT (n=1440)....
Article
We study theoretically and empirically the demand for microcredit under different liability arrangements and risk environments. A simple theoretical model shows that the demand for joint-liability loans can exceed that for individual-liability loans when risk-averse borrowers value their long-term relationship with the lender. Joint liability then...
Article
We present evidence from a randomized field experiment in rural Mongolia to assess the poverty impacts of a joint-liability microcredit program targeted at women. We find a positive impact of access to group loans on female entrepreneurship and household food consumption but not on total working hours or income in the household. A simultaneously in...
Article
Many conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have important social components and, therefore, can have an effect on social capital. In 2007, we conducted a field experiment with 1451 subjects in Cartagena, Colombia. We interpret the behavior in the game as a measure of what in the literature has been called social capital. We played the game in tw...
Article
We study a Conditional Cash Transfer program in which the cash transfers to the mother only depend on the fulfilment of the national preventive visit schedule by her children born before she registered in the program. We estimate that preventive visits of children born after the mother registered in the program are 50 percent lower because they are...
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Full-text available
We study the socioeconomic gradient of child development on a sample of low- and middle- income children aged 6-42 months in Bogota using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development. We fi nd an average difference of 0.53, 0.42, and 0.49 standard deviations (SD) in cognition, receptive, and expressive language respectively, between children...
Article
We investigate partial insurance and group risk sharing in extended family networks. Our approach is based on decomposing income shocks into group aggregate and idiosyncratic components, allowing us to measure the extent to which each is insured, having accounted for public insurance programs. We apply our framework to extended family networks in t...
Article
We characterize the time-series properties of group-level consumption, income, and interest rates using microdata. We relate the coefficients of moving average representations to structural parameters of theoretical models of consumption behavior. Using long time series of cross sections to construct synthetic panel data for the United Kingdom, we...
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To assess the effectiveness of an integrated early child development intervention, combining stimulation and micronutrient supplementation and delivered on a large scale in Colombia, for children's development, growth, and hemoglobin levels. Cluster randomized controlled trial, using a 2 × 2 factorial design, with municipalities assigned to one of...
Article
Objective: We aimed to determine the timing and size of the cognitive deficit associated with poverty in the first 5 years of life and to examine the role of parental characteristics, pre- and postnatal growth, and stimulation in the home in Bangladeshi children. We hypothesized that the effect of poverty on cognition begins in infancy and is main...
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Author Summary Latin America has a history of extensive mixing between Native Americans and people arriving from Europe and Africa. As a result, individuals in the region have a highly heterogeneous genetic background and show great variation in physical appearance. Latin America offers an excellent opportunity to examine the genetic basis of the d...
Article
The current genetic makeup of Latin America has been shaped by a history of extensive admixture between Africans, Europeans and Native Americans, a process taking place within the context of extensive geographic and social stratification. We estimated individual ancestry proportions in a sample of 7,342 subjects ascertained in five countries (Brazi...
Article
In this paper we investigate the role of expected returns to schooling and of perceived risks (of unemployment and earnings) as determinants of schooling decisions. Moreover, our data also allow us to analyze whether youths’ and/or mothers’ expectations predict schooling decisions, and whether this depends on the age and gender of the youth. In par...
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In this paper I discuss how evidence on public policy is generated and in particular the issue of evaluation of public policies. In economics, the issue of attribution and the identification of causal links has recently received considerable attention. Important methodological issues have been tackled and new techniques have been proposed and used....
Article
Full-text available
Many conditional cash transfers (CCT) have important social components. In 2007, we conducted a public good game in Cartagena, Colombia. We interpret the behaviour in the game as a measure of what in the literature has been called social capital. We played the game in two similar and adjacent neighbourhoods: El Pozón had been targeted for over two...
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This paper presents an analysis of the welfare consequences of recent increases in food prices in Mexico using micro-level data. We estimate a QUAIDS model of demand for food, using data collected to evaluate the conditional cash transfer program Oportunidades. We show how the poor have been affected by the recent increases and changes in relative...
Article
We present evidence from a randomized field experiment in rural Mongolia on the comparative poverty impact of group versus individual microcredit. We find a positive impact of group loans but not of individual loans on entrepreneurship and food consumption. Moreover, group borrowers are less likely to make informal transfers to families and friends...
Article
In this paper, we estimate the effect of the Mexican conditional cash transfer programme, Oportunidades, on transfers, savings and consumption for treated households. We find positive effects on consumption of non‐durable and durable goods, an increase in savings coupled with a drop in the number and values of loans, and a reduction of in‐kind tran...
Article
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Using data from an experiment conducted in 70 Colombian communities, we investigate who pools risk with whom when trust is crucial for enforcing risk pooling arrangements. We explore the roles played by risk attitudes and social networks. Both empirically and theoretically, we find that close friends and relatives group assortatively on risk attitu...
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We study food Engel curves among the poor population targeted by a conditional cash transfer programme in Colombia. After controlling for the endogeneity of total expenditure and for the (unobserved) variability of prices across villages, the best fit is provided by a log-linear specification. Our estimates imply that an increase in total expenditu...
Article
We model individual demand for housing over the life cycle, and show the aggregate implications of this behaviour. Individuals delay purchasing their first home when incomes are low or uncertain. Higher house prices lead households to downsize, rather than to stop being owners. Fixed costs (property transactions taxes) have important impacts on wel...
Article
We use two different data sets and three different instruments to estimate the impact of a long‐established pre‐school nursery programme on children's nutritional status. We use variables related to cost (fee, distance to the nursery) and programme availability (capacity of the programme in the town) as instruments. One of our data sets is represen...
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Introduction: Prevalence of obesity is rising in Latin America and increasingly affecting socially disadvantaged groups, particularly women. Conditional cash transfers are recently established welfare interventions in the region. One, Familias en Accion, transfers ∼20% of average monthly income to women in Colombia's poorest families. Previous wor...
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As more resources are being allocated to impact evaluation of development programmes, the need to map out the utilisation and influence of evaluations has been increasingly highlighted. This paper aims at filling this gap by describing and discussing experiences from four large impact evaluations in Colombia on case- study basis. On the basis of le...
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Previous empirical literature has found a sharp decline in consumption during the first years of retirement, implying that individuals do not save enough for their retirement. This phenomenon is called the retirement consumption puzzle. We find no evidence of the retirement consumption puzzle using panel data from 1980 to 2000. Consumption is defin...
Article
Full-text available
Previous empirical literature has found a sharp decline in consumption during the first years of retirement, implying that individuals do not save enough for their retirement. This phenomenon is called the retirement consumption puzzle. We find no evidence of the retirement consumption puzzle using panel data from 1980 to 2000. Consumption is defin...
Article
This paper evaluates the impact of a randomized training program for disadvantaged youth introduced in Colombia in 2005. This randomized trial offers a unique opportunity to examine the impact of training in a middle income country. We use originally collected data on individuals randomly offered and not offered training. The program raises earning...
Article
This paper uses a realistic structural lifecycle model of consumption and housing decisions to understand how data might distinguish different mechanisms that explain the correlation between house prices and consumption. The model includes price and earnings shocks estimated from data (the latter including aggregate and idiosyncratic components), a...
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Full-text available
This paper evaluates the impact of a randomized training program introduced in Colombia in 2005 on the labor market outcomes of trainees. This is one of two such randomized training trials conducted in developing countries and, as such, it offers the unique opportunity to examine the causal impact of training in a developing context. We use origina...
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The goal of this paper is to improve our understanding of educational decisions in two dimensions: First, we investigate what are important determinants of schooling decisions and whether they differ for male and female youths. In particular, we are interested in the role of expectations about monetary returns to schooling, perceived risks of earni...
Article
This paper builds a unifying framework based on the theory of intertemporal consumption choices that brings together the limited participation-based explanation of the Consumption Capital Asset Pricing Model’s poor empirical performance and the transaction costs-based explanation of incomplete portfolios. Using the implications of the consumption m...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we use an economic model to analyse data from a major randomized social experiment, namely PROGRESA in Mexico, and to evaluate its impact on school participation. We show the usefulness of using experimental data to estimate a structural economic model as well as the importance of a structural model in interpreting experimental resul...
Article
Background Conditional cash transfer schemes (CCTS) are relatively new policies in low and middle income countries which aim to improve the health and welfare of poor families by investing in their knowledge, skills and resources. Families are offered regular cash as long as they comply with certain conditions. One of these is that mothers/carers a...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this paper is to improve our understanding of educational decisions in two dimensions: First, we investigate if determinants of schooling differ between male and female youths. In particular, we are interested in the role of expectations about monetary returns to schooling, perceived risks of earnings and unemployment for different scho...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a critical survey of the large literature on the life cycle model of consumption, both from an empirical and a theoretical point of view. It discusses several approaches that have been taken in the literature to bring the model to the data, their empirical successes and failures. Finally, the paper reviews a number of changes to...
Article
This paper compares the differences of individual coverage in the fully-funded social security systems of three Latin American countries. Chile, Columbia, and Mexico each have defined contributions social security systems, yet there are significant differences in system design and incentive that may affect individuals’ participation. Here, we exami...
Article
This paper describes the main cross-sectional facts on individual and household earnings, labor supply, income, consumption and wealth in Mexico in the decade of the 1990s. We use two different data sources: the Mexican Employment Survey (ENEU) and the Mexican Income and Expenditure Survey (ENIGH). The contribution of the paper is twofold. First, w...
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This paper develops a general equilibrium, overlapping-generations model of the U.S. economy where households face random ∞uctuations in health status. Health status determines households' productivity, mortality rate and their medical ex- penditures. Households make consumption and labor supply decisions, and can imperfectly insure medical expendi...
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We examine the effect of large cash transfers on the consumption of food by poor households in rural Mexico. The transfers represent 20% of household income on average, and yet, the budget share of food is unchanged following receipt of this money. This is an important puzzle to solve, particularly so in the context of a social welfare programme de...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we use an economic model to analyse data from a major social experiment, namely PROGRESA in Mexico, and to evaluate its impact on school participation. In the process we also show the usefulness of using experimental data to estimate a structural economic model. The evaluation sample includes data from villages where the program was i...
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Full-text available
Este estudio compara las diferencias de cobertura en los sistemas de pensiones de capitalizacion individual en tres pa’ses de Latinoamerica. En Chile, Colombia y Mexico, aun cuando cada uno de ellos tiene sistema de pensiones de contribuciones definidas, hay diferencias significativas en el diseno e incentivos de cada sistema que pueden afectar la...
Article
The paper studies the effects of Familias en Acción, a conditional cash transfer program implemented in rural areas in Colombia since 2002, on school enrollment and child labor. Using a difference-in-difference framework, our results show that the program increased school participation of 14-17-year-old children quite substantially, by between 5 an...
Article
In this paper, we propose a measure of social capital based on behaviour in a public goods game. We conducted a public goods game within 28 groups in two similar neighbourhoods in Cartagena, Colombia, one of which had been targeted for over two years by a conditional cash transfer programme that has an important social component. The level of coope...
Article
We examine the physical and mental health effects of providing care to an elderly mother on the adult child caregiver. We address the endogeneity of the selection in and out of caregiving using an instrumental variable approach, and carefully control for baseline health and work status of the adult child using fixed effects and Arellano-Bond estima...
Article
Identification in errors-in-variables regression models was recently extended to wide models classes by S. Schennach (Econometrica, 2007) (S) via use of generalized functions. In this paper the problems of non- and semi- parametric identification in such models are re-examined. Nonparametric identification holds under weaker assumptions than in (S)...
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We investigate how people insured themselves against unexpected losses caused by the Chuetsu earthquake in 2004. A novelty of our analysis is in the use of geological information as exogenous variations to identify the effects of the earthquake. While our empirical results show that our data is consistent with the conventional full consumption risk...
Article
Over much of the past 25 years, the cycles of house price and consumption growth have been closely synchronised. Three main hypotheses for this co-movement have been proposed in the literature. First, that an increase in house prices raises households’ wealth, particularly for those in a position to trade down the housing ladder, which increases th...
Article
In this paper we estimate the effect of the Mexican conditional cash transfer program, Oportunidades, on consumption, and we explore some issues related to participation in the program and to the estimation of treatment effects. We discuss the comparability of treatment and control areas, provide evidence that the expected transfer may not be suffi...